Sculptures For Our Future Campus: Meet the Artist

When it opens, the new site of the Paris campus located at 1 Saint Thomas will welcome students, professors, researchers, but also sculptures. Those of a young Colombian artist, Iván Argote, chosen by our jury to bring contemporary creations into a setting filled with history. With a group of students, Argote began creating a series of works, sometimes benches, sometimes sculptures, always rich in symbols and messages... Discover his career and his vision.

Practical sculptures for the future campus, designed with students

For the 1 Saint Thomas site, Iván Argote proposed to create a series of benches: practical sculptures that promote conversation, integrated into the architecture and landscape that surround them. These benches will be decorated with inscriptions in several languages. A group of twelve Sciences Po students* will be selected to work alongside the artist to draft these texts, an approach which is fully in line with the artist’s creative vision and his desire for interaction between the works and their audiences.

Who is Iván Argote?

Originally from Colombia, Iván Argote (ESP) comes from a family committed to trade unionism and politics. After studying at the National University of Colombia, he moved to France to attend the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His work spans different media channels: video, performance, IT, sculpture and painting. He often multiplies interventions that happen in the street, in public transport, in museums and other public places. Argote's work raises questions about how to live together and how power and history are present in our daily lives. With a certain joie de vivre and a lot of humor, he seeks to criticize our passivity, in a spirit of non-resignation and rebellion. Since 2006, Argote’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions all over the world.

 Ivan Argots

STRENGTHLESSNESS - OUTDOOR SCULPTURE, LES EXTATIQUES, PARIS - LA DÉFENSE, 2020

How was the artist chosen?

Within the group in charge of the renovations of the 1 Saint-Thomas site led by Sogelym-Dixence with the architectural firms Wilmotte & Associés, Moreau Kusunoki and Pierre Bortolussi, it is the Manifesto agency that supervises the overall project, and acts as an advisor, art director and producer of the work.

Based on a brief of specifications issued by Sciences Po, Manifesto proposed a list of artists. Two were pre-selected in January 2020 by a jury composed of Frédéric Mion, President of Sciences Po, Laurence Bertrand-Dorélac, teacher and member of the Sciences Po Prize for Contemporary Art, Clara-Lou Sinard, student and President of the Arts Bureau, Christophe Condamin, Managing Director of Sogelym-Dixence, and Jean-Michel Wilmotte, architect. These two artists presented sketches of their projects, integrated into the premises. The jury selected Colombian artist Iván Argote.

*Following a call for applications, 12 students will be drawn by a lottery to work with the artist. Follow our Instagram account for more information.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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