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The Halo (2002) - Paris

Jean-Bernard Métais, "The Halo" (proposal 2002-2005). Porte Maillot, Paris (France)

1 Aligning, encircling, elevating   The artist has no "object solution" here. He can only give the location  a free, almost immaterial touch. The concept of a circle levitating high above ground finds its form in the technical mediums of projected light and mist: a solution whereby we give unity back to this space crowded    with cars and noise, a space otherwise annihilated by its function as a complex roundabout of intersections. Located within the renowned architectural alignment of the Arc de Triomphe and La Grande Arche, Porte Maillot is stigmatized by its "gigantic inconsistency". This double-sided impression of the "martyred site" of Place Maillot gave birth to the idea of encircling it with a halo. The elevated disk highlights its location,  emerging as a transparent, monumental landmark within the perspective of this major Parisian axis.

2 The Halo: lightness  "Aurora Boréalis", "Eclipse", "Mirage"… References to natural phenomena and cosmic forces play a role of "awakening" within the agitated surroundings and random, noisy flux of Place Maillot. The image of a floating circle lifts our vision up above the intersections, expanding and liberating the space.


3 From limits to infinity: the cycle  This work is an expression of the cycle, of change and renewal. Its appearance evolves from morning to evening, from night till sunrise. As the halo turns slowly upon its axis, in a 24-hour cycle, the circle flattens into a horizontal line then rises again, infinitely renewing itself. At night, its color varies with the changing seasons. Felt like a reassuring presence, the circle appears like a mirage within this center of many crossroads. It reminds us that man cannot simply pass through at will, without being aware of himself and the world he lives in.

Water-Light. H. 2 to 25 m - Diam. 50 m.

Commissioned by  the City of Paris -Cost: 1 500 000€




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