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Pablo Reinoso’s Conversations at the FIAC

Fresh off an outdoor installation in Bordeaux, the French-Argentinean artist takes his public benches to the FIAC, opposite the Grand Palais in Paris

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Text by Rab Messina

I still remember seeing, for the first time, one of Pablo Reinoso’s Spaghetti Benches on display at the MALBA in his native Buenos Aires. The 600 metres of wooden, tree-like tentacles that made up Intervención 6 sprung from the seat and went over and under the white walls of the museum. Visitors couldn’t sit on it, so I got a souvenir twisted-wood pencil at the gift shop instead. After laughing with glee at the whole thing, I needed to somehow quench the childish desire of wanting to touch it.

Those who visit the FIAC in Paris this year might be faced with the same emotion, but this time, they’ll actually be able to sit on them. Reinoso is pushing for something beyond a visual memory: with Conversations, an outdoors installation opposite the Grand Palais, the sculptor wants us to reconsider the social and vocal importance of public art.

With L’Observatoire du Ciel, a series of six bench sculptures installed this past September in Bordeaux’s Miroir d’Eau for the AGORA biennale, Reinoso used the mist and the reflective surface of the much instagrammed square to wonder what it would be like if the city could disappear. With Simple Talk and Double Talk, his two most recent pieces of steel pasta, he wants us to reconsider what could happen to our urban lives if public art disappeared.

Those who wander around the pedestrianised Avenue Winston Churchill will agree that even in a city as artistically dense as Paris, there are few spots better than this one to sit on and ponder that question.

Conversations, presented by the Waddington Custot Gallery, will be available to the public until October 22

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Reinoso sitting in one of his Observatoire du Ciel benches. Image by Rodrigo Reinoso.
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Reinoso's Simple Talk at the FIAC. Image by Adrien Millot.
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Part of Reinoso's L'Observatoire du ciel
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Part of Reinoso's L'Observatoire du ciel. Image by Rodrigo Reinoso.
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Steel pasta detail from one of the L'Observatoire du ciel benches. Image by Rodrigo Reinoso.

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