Miquel Barceló’s latest art installation in the UN’s Palace of Nations in Geneva deserves all the attentions. The controversial work of art is a massive sculptural installation located on the domed ceiling of the building’s newly created human rights and alliance of civilizations chamber. The work consists of multi-coloured stalactite forms that appear to be dripping from the ceiling. However controversy over how the work was paid for has overshadowed its artistic significance. The project was introduced by the Spanish organization ONUART.
Miquel Barceló’s work often features natural elements and imagery but the chamber’s ceiling takes this idea literally by recreating the natural stalactite forms. Barceló inspiration for this work came when he was in Africa. At the unveiling Barceló explained, ‘on a day of immense heat in the middle of the sahel desert, I recall with vivacity the mirage of an image of the world dripping toward the sky’. The vivid idea later took shape as he planned out the work.
To begin the artwork construction crews demolished the chamber’s existing ceiling and replaced it with a newly designed version that could support the weight of the sculpture. Barceló and a team of engineers and architects created this new elliptic domed ceiling that is made from extra-strength aluminium. Once in place Barceló and his team of 20 assistants began construction of the sculpture.
35 tons of paint was then brought onto the sight to apply to the artwork. What a fantastic work!