2014 : the 150th anniversary of the first climbing of ‘la Barre des Ecrins’
Sculpture & Film « Envol »
The ‘massif des Ecrins’ will be celebrating during the Summer of 2014 the 150th anniversary of the first climb of la Barre des Ecrins.
For this occasion in Isère & les Hautes-Alpes, poignant moments and festivities will accompany this event in Summer 2014. One of the highlights is an ambitious project: the creation of a unique artistic creation in the Alps, at the summit of la Barre des Ecrins, at an altitude of 4102m.
This project has germinated from the desire of Compagnie des guides Oisans-Ecrins to mark this anniversary with a symbol of unity and a view to the future. This creation is entrenched in the tradition of the local inhabitants: since prehistoric times, man has shown his veneration of the summit by creating tumulus and cairns. This project is also innovative however, because for the first time a non-religious work of art will be placed on a high summit in the alps.
For this the Compagnie des guides has asked the artist Christian Burger (sculptor of the statue Whymper at L’Argentiere) to create the sculpture ‘Envol’ especially for this occasion. It will be taken up in several pieces, on the backs of men who will leave from all the valleys of the massif during the reenactment of the historic climb of the 22-25th June. It will eventually be taken down at the end of the season to be shown in the valley.
“Envol: The dream: to fly….mankind has always attempted to elevate himself, to reach higher, go further in his actions as well as his thoughts.
Which climber has never felt the explosive joy of reaching the summit? The summit rekindles the climber’s deepest feelings of victories, timelessness, of shared moments and immortality; gained through hardship during the climb. ‘In Flight’ thus symbolises this spiritual rebirth. The interlinked metal rings also symbolise a united mankind, reminding us through this representation of the infinite cycles of eternity. This dream also evokes the cohabitation of birds & men in the heart of the Park des Ecrins and reminds us that man is also of nature.
In this sculpture, one will also be able to see the union of the four vital elements that are earth, wind, fire & water. Firstly earth & wind, from its base anchored to the rock and it’s wings defying the scintillating air above 4000m; the fire, by the melting and powerful transformation of the metal; the water, more metaphorically by the reflections in the stainless steel which can evoke those of a mountain lake. » Christian Burger, creator of ‘Envol’.
Technical description: the sculpture will be created in rings of stainless steel interlinked and welded together. This technique will give the piece a graphically abstract and strongly visual aspect. Measurements: 2m high and 1.5m wide.
To immortalize a project of this caliber and to retrace its key stages, from conception to assembly at 4102m altitude the video maker Vincent Verrier has associated himself with this artistic, logistic and physical challenge. A short film (in black & white) which lasts 5 minutes & which will be broadcast all Summer on the internet & in the valley will also accompany the sculpture during it’s showing.
To start a second life after it’s stay at altitude the sculpture is looking for a good home. Any offers?
If you want to share the adventure & make a donation, visit our web site:
For more information on the 150th anniversary of ‘la Barre des Ecrins’ project go towww.guidesdemontagne.com
The monumental statue of Whymper, a creation from Christian Burger. Corten steel, height 6m30, 2009. 6m30 high.L’Argentière la Bessée (Hautes Alpes)
Envol, the Project
Interlinked Stainless steel rings which will be used to make the sculpture « Envol”
Christian Burger Photo : Vincent Verrier
Vincent VERRIER VIDEASTE
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Christian BURGER SCULPTEUR
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Abdou MARTIN GUIDE, CIE DES GUIDES OISANS ECRINS
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CAROLINE TCHEPELEVSERVICE PRESSE CDT HAUTES-ALPES
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