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The New Patrons
of Paris, France

Alain Bublex, Etre utile quotidiennement, 2013, Paris - France

Les Nouveaux Commanditaires

Be useful (daily)

Patrons: Fraternal Union of Metalurgists,

Mediators: Mari Linnman, 3ca,

Artists: Alain Bublex,

Cooperation Partners and Sponsors: Fondation de France, CGT, Mairie de Paris (DAC), Conseil Régional Ile-de-France, Fondation EDF, Mutuelle Familiale, Humanis, MACIF, La Solidarité Mutualiste, Crédit Coopératif, COEXCO, S.A.S Peslard, Parflam,

Duration: - – 2013

Alain Bublex, Etre utile quotidiennement, 2013, Paris - France

Les Nouveaux Commanditaires

Alain Bublex, Etre utile quotidiennement, 2013, Paris - France

Les Nouveaux Commanditaires

During the Front populaire period (1936–1938), the Fraternal Union of Metalworkers (UFM) built the House of Metalworkers in Paris, a central symbolic place for the labor movement. In the 2000s, UFM was forced to sell a part of the building, which was transformed into a cultural establishment of the City of Paris. As a show of solidarity with this change and to demonstrate its cultural engagement, UFM approached Mari Linnman in 2009 to work on the creation of a piece of art reflecting the cultural activities of the General Confederation of Workers (CGT). They wanted to offer the city an emblematic work of art that would evoke the history of trade union activism guided by the ideas of “solidarity and fraternity” and a vision for its future.

The artist Alain Bublex created a street lighting installation entitled “be useful (daily).” The work ties in with the architecture and history of the House of Metalworkers. Seven light fixtures are mounted on the building’s facade. Each fixture was individually designed by the artist and executed by a metalworker, and each lamp emits a particular quality of light. At nightfall, the articulated fixtures descend to illuminate the pedestrians passing by the building. In the morning, they move back up. Varied, disparate, heterogeneous, and theatrical, the installation appears as a graphical element during the day and exudes an atmosphere of intimacy at night.

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