Moment: Pont des Arts - Installation Proposal

The Pont des Arts is a pedestrian bridge traversing the Seine between the Louvre and the Institut de France (the seat of the various académies françaises) in central Paris. It is quite heavily travelled, mostly by tourists, where a number of years ago it became the site of the famous “love locks”: the destination for couples from around the world to affix padlocks inscribed with their initials to the open mesh covering the railings. They would then throw the keys into the Seine as a symbol of their eternal love (it’s a pity nobody collects those statistics).

The only problem was that the combined weight of thousands of locks threatened the bridge’s integrity.

Click on this link to view a photo of the bridge with the locks attached (Creative Commons image from the Internet).

The Mairie, never eager to discourage a good tourist draw - particularly one which reinforced the marketing message of "Paris, the City of Love" - hesitated greatly before finally removing the lock-ladened grilles, cladding the railings with painted plywood panels. Nonetheless, the tourists still come. Recently, I’ve noticed similar locks affixed to the Brooklyn Bridge. In New York, the authorities have absolutely no compunction about removing them.

This history has absolutely no role in the formulation of the piece. If anything, it's an unwelcome distraction. My interest in the Pont des Arts derives from a number of factors: it is of an appropriate length and width, it is flat rather than arched, its wood-plank path allows an uncomplicated installation, and the dynamics of the piece mesh with the magnificent illumination of Paris at night, including that of the buildings along the Seine's banks, the vessels passing beneath, the neighboring bridges and the linking of these two historically-significant buildings.  

Project Description (no sound)

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