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Switzerland: Yalil Sculptures

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Yalil Sculptures | Switzerland | Europe

[Visited: December 2006]

The day was not as sunny as I had hoped, and I was exploring the old city of Geneva in search of landmarks and good light. Another photographer started talking to me, and she advised me to go to the Pont de la Machine, where I would find "bonhommes". According to her, the best time to go would be around sunset. Right then, I could not imagine what she meant. When I reached the bridge a few hours later, I suddenly saw a delicate figure seemingly floating through the air. I stopped, and as I spotted other figures as well, I realized that this is what she had been referring to. I had discovered the bonhommes.

Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Voyager sculpture of Cédric le Borgne floating above the skyline of Geneva

I had actually stumbled upon the open-air exposition of Cédric le Borgne, part of the Trees and Lights festival in Geneva. The figures I saw floating in the air, were iron sculptures hanging in the air and exposed from lights from a distance. The figures are called travellers, and have names such as the Wiseman, the Guardian, and the Explorer. The exposition is called Yalil, an arabic word that loosely translates to the poetry of the night. As the night fell over Geneva and the travellers became always more visible, I realized the word was well-chosen.

Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Cédric le Borgne's creature floating through the air near Pont de la Machine

At first, the delicate figures were barely visible because of the feeble light that was still absorbed by the dying daylight, but as darkness fell over the city, the travellers were always clearer. The interest on the passing people was immediate, as they spotted the sculptures too, stopped walking to enjoy the iron creatures effortlessly floating through the cold air of the Swiss city. That is what open-air art is about: having a direct impact on people, making them pause and admire, integration with the direct surroudings. Cédric le Borgne certainly managed to make his travellers stand out in the Geneva sky.

Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Iron sculpture of Cédric le Borgne on the Pont de la Machine bridge
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Two travellers of Cédric le Borgne suspended in the air of Geneva
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Iron sculpture by Cédric le Borgne hanging in the air
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Sculpture by Cédric le Borgne seemingly tip-toeing through the air
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Close-up of one of the travellers or sculptures of Cédric le Borgne
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Sculpture of the Yalil exhibition in Geneva
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Iron sculpture, one of the travellers of Cédric le Borgne floating through the air
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Yalil exposition: iron sculpture in the air of Geneva
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Traveller standing on the roof of the Tourist Office: iron sculpture by Cédric le Borgne
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Iron sculpture on the Pont de la Machine
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Iron sculptures or travellers on the roof of the Geneva Tourist Office
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Iron sculpture, part of the Yalil exposition, floating through the air
Picture of Yalil Sculptures (Switzerland): Traveller made of iron: flying through the air

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