The famed Pompidou Center will play host to a month-long performance-based art project by Taiwan artist Lee Mingwei (李明維) this June.
"Our Labyrinth” was inspired by a visit to Myanmar, where Lee was deeply moved both by the gesture of removing one's shoes before entering a temple, pagoda, or mosque, and by the pristine space created for visitors by volunteers who tirelessly swept the sacred grounds.
The constant, undulating motion of the sweeper and the sand led Lee, who often hands out gifts of different forms in his participatory art, to ponder whether the provision of a "pure” space could be considered another kind of bequest.
"Our Labyrinth” finally took the form of a meditative performance art, in which visitors remove their shoes before walking among the mounds of rice and seeds that are continuously shifting, dispersed, and united again by dancers of different backgrounds.
Part of the performance's fluidity and delight come from the invariable element of surprise - past performers have included dancers, yoga teachers, and tai-chi practitioners. The visitor's senses are also augmented by the new sensations from being barefooted, tip-toeing along a golden stream of grains that is being swept along a labyrinthine path of the dancer's choosing.
"This project is a gift from the performers to the visitors,” noted Lee, "both physically and spiritually, as they [the visitors] explore the sacred space created by the projects.”
In partnership with Paris Marais Dance School, the June performances will feature Maggie Boogaart, Yiyi Chen, Malwina Gautier, Marta Gomez Tellez, François Huet, Sayaka Kuno, Emily Malamet, Jean-Gabriel Manolis, Lauriane Nabet, Seung-Eun Shin, and Cheng-Lung Wu.