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Giant Oil Spill Covers the Floors of a Swiss Abbey

This giant leak seems to be consuming the floors of the Abbey-church of Bellelay. In fact, the flowing liquid is actually an installation by artist Romain Crelier. The Swiss artist's work often interacts with architecture as he strives to move average perceptions of space beyond normal expectations. This year, he was commissioned by the abbey Foundation Bellelay to produce a contemporary piece that creates a “dialogue with the Baroque architecture.”

La Mise en Abme consists of two large, rounded containers filled with used motor oil. Crelier chooses to use the recycled liquid because he considers the large-scale work to be ironic creations of “monochrome paintings using a despised substance.” Extending down the aisles of the church, the black liquid, which is normally considered thick and greasy, is presented in a glamorous fashion. Within the puddle-like structures, the shiny liquid glimmers with light, reflecting the space back upon the room. Mirrored reflections provide visitors with a view of themselves naturally surrounded by the interior architecture, instantly establishing them as a part of the interactive installation.

The piece is currently on display within the Abbey-church or Bellelay, Switzerland, and can be viewed through September 16, 2013.

Romain Crelier
via [This Isn't Happiness]

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