Bassin de Takis: a mysterious, hypnotic and spellbinding work of art!

Bassin Takis

At the end of the slab, with a breathtaking view of the Pont de Neuilly and the Arc de Triomphe, you'll find a very special work of art. A series of 17 luminous, coloured and flashing heads dance in the water to the rhythm of a mysterious sequence... Discover the Takis basin! Discover the Takis basin!

They're called "sentinels", the work of renowned Greek artist Panayotis Vassilakis, known as Takis. Since the 1950s, this artist has been exploring the mystery of energy, seeking to capture invisible "signals" to reveal a cosmic mystery...

These "signals" look like something you might see in a modern train station. However, they are not there to indicate train schedules. Instead, they act as coded messages, an intriguing way of revealing realities invisible to the naked eye. The idea was born in 1974, when the Etablissement public in charge of developing La Défense wanted to integrate contemporary art into the creation of the new business center. Takis proposed these "luminous signals" to be installed in the open air, facing Paris. The idea was approved, and gave rise to the famous "Bassin de Takis"! There are now 17 luminous signs measuring between 6 and 11 metres. With their feet in the water, they stand behind the Grande Arche and facing the Arc de Triomphe.

A night-time spectacle

As night falls, these signals metamorphose into lighthouses, lighting up like guides in a harbor. Their lights flash randomly, creating a mesmerizing light show.

Imagine yourself surrounded by these dancing lights, with the Arc de Triomphe illuminated in the background and the skyscrapers of La Défense all around. It's not just art, it's a truly modern artistic experience that transports you into a world of luminous magic!

A fascination with light

But to achieve this result, the artist had to teach himself! Takis began with classical portraits, but soon moved on to stylized human forms. Fascinated by light and movement, he now uses everyday objects for his artistic creations. This is how he created his first "Signals" in 1955, with piano strings that came to life in the wind.

And to highlight the Bassin de Takis, another work of art has also been installed there for Les Extatiques 2023! Until October 1, Bob Verschueren's ephemeral work "Tropisme" will be on display.

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