Deep in musical contemplation

I promised more posts describing  the delightful artworks by Jaume Plensa which I came across in Bordeaux on my recent trip to France. I was unaware that this exhibition of 11 works was only temporarily on display and was disappointed, because I missed seeing some of them – and going by the photos posted by others on the internet, the ones I did not get to see were also quite spectacular. Nevertheless, I did enjoy those I saw, and count myself lucky for having been in the right place at the right time!

MusicFor those who missed the previous posts on these sculptures, Plensa created some amazing depictions of human forms in different poses and these were variously located in the central (very old) part of the lovely city of Bordeaux. Most are quite sizeable (some are very big) and all are set in appropriately sized spaces where they can be appreciated by a number of people at the same time.

The subject of this post is called “Silent music II” and features a person sitting hugging his knees. As I child, I used to sit like this when I was deep in thought; it was also a comfortable way for me to sit while observing others. I think that is why this sculpture particularly appealed to me.
The figure is made entirely of musical notes and characters all beautifully linked together with the lines and scripts from a written musical score.

Music1As is typical of the setting for Plensa’s works, this one has been carefully placed to make intriguing use of the setting in which it is displayed.

Approaching from the front or from either side, this clever placement is not obvious to the viewer. However, when approaching from the rear, it is possible to see what this figure is gazing at as he sits on his rocky pedestal in the busy Place St Pierre.

It is not the crowds that move through the square each day, enjoying the amazing architecture that the city has to show. Nor is it the hungry patrons who gather at the surrounding restaurants each mealtime.


He is gazing across the square directly towards the doors of the church of St Pierre. Do his thoughts wander to the music that must come from this lovely place of worship? Does he yearn to be part of that amazing musical rendition?

Or is he just sitting, deeply immersed in thought, as I often did when I was young?
What do you think? How would you interpret and feel about this musical work of art?

For other posts I have written on Jaume Plensa’s work, please see:

This statue came to mind when reading Ailsa’s Travel Challenge for this week, which is ‘Deep’. If you wish to see what others have posted in reply to this theme, please visit Where’s my backpack?

This entry was posted in France, Travel, Weekly challenges and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Deep in musical contemplation

  1. KnitNell says:

    Thank you for introducing Jaume Plensa’s work – I hadn’t come across him before but now I will go and find out a little more about him. You photographs are excellent – particularly the last one with the man facing the church.


    • Madoqua says:

      Thank you Knitnell! I did not know anything about Plensa’s work before I saw these sculptures. They really appealed to me a lot, and I loved the way they were put in public spaces where they attracted a lot of interest and attention.


  2. Pingback: When lettering walks on the wild side | Ellen Waldren

  3. restlessjo says:

    Beautiful, Madoqua, and quite unlike those sculptures in Nice. 🙂


  4. Sue Slaght says:

    What a gorgeous sculpture. Delighted to see this!


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