The "fourth apple" - again

This photo was meant to illustrate something that upsets me a little bit (quite a bit actually). This damaged plexiglass was not meant to appear as something actually looking quite nice (at least in my opinion).

In November 2011 I wrote about an “apple”, to be found on Boulevard de Clichy, close to Place de Clichy.

If you take the time to read the post I then wrote (see here), you may understand my frustration. (Don’t worry, I still sleep well at nights).

Here is a copy of what I then showed to illustrate the inauguration of the “apple”, in presence of the mayors of the 9th and 18th arrondissements and some representatives of the City of Paris…

… and here is what the “apple” looks like today, the pedestal being surrounded by four broken plexiglass “windows”. My intention is not really to discuss the artistic value of this sculpture, but rather…

Here is just a (rather) short version of what I wrote some three or four years ago:

The “apple” was put here to replace a statue of Charles Fourier (1772-1832) which disappeared in 1942 during the Nazi occupation – the bronze was needed for other purposes. Charles Fourier was some kind of predecessor to socialism, utopian socialism. He was also the creator of the word “feminism” and defended the liberty of women. Everybody should have the right to education….

Why the “apple”? Actually it should refer to the “fourth apple”. Why the “the fourth apple”? Fourier made a big case and a symbol of the fact that an apple those days cost 100 times more in Paris than where it was produced. The preceding three apples were the one Adam gave to Eve, the “apple of discord” given to Aphrodite and the one which dropped on Newton’s head.

Thousands of people pass the “apple” each day and hardly anybody understands why it’s there. I tried to tell some of the City representatives already during the inauguration that the “apple” must be explained. I have since written three times to the local authorities … and have never got an answer.

There is a very small plate with a text, in French only, to possibly be seen at a little distance from the sculpture. It reads in translation:

“The fourth apple, homage à Charles Fourier by Franck Scurti 2010. Public command by the City of Paris. Charles Fourier (1772-1832) is a predecessor regarding the work organisation and the relationship between the individual and the society. His statue, by Emile Derré, disappeared in 1942 during the Nazi occupation. Having found a visual relationship with the bases of this notion, Franck Scurti has created a mirror apple, symbol of universal attraction and carrier of a planisphere, the old pedestal being covered in colours reflecting the harmony of the world and recovering the original text of homage.”

Would you understand the real meaning of the apple even if you were curious and possibly had found the plate? 

This is what it looked like end of spring 2015! Still nothing done!!


Virginia said...

Good point Peter. I saw my photos that you and I took one day several years ago and when I wanted to post on my blog, I was at a loss as to a way to explain it.
I think I gave up and deleted them although now I might have another look, post, and link to these to blog posts of yours, something I've been known to do on many occasions!

Alain said...

Cette histoire du prix d'une pomme dans un restaurant parisien me rappelle celui d'une orange dans le transsibérien.

Cergie said...

Donc sur la panonceau ils ne parlent pas de la 4ème pomme, ce pourrait être celle qui n'existera plus lorsque les abeilles auront disparu. Ou celle qui ne poussera plus dans la Région Parisienne lorsqu'il fera trop chaud...
Pour protéger certaines statues à présent on les "clone" et garde l'original en lieu sûr ou bien pendant l'occupation on les avaient cachées. Le plexiglas au moins cela se change...

Synne said...

This is strange. I think that Paris is a city where history tends to be well taken care of, where people know and love the connections between the past and the present, but here it seems like the connection is broken. It's a pity!

Jeanie said...

Wow -- you make a most provocative and logical point. And it does confound me, given how Paris seems to embrace or at least acknowledge its history. It's a fascinating display/exhibit/installation -- and truly sad that the plexi has been broken and not fixed. Or any context given. I applaud your efforts to contact them, to try to have something on site. And thank you for sharing the background in both your posts.

Anonymous said...

Hola Peter:

I just finished reading your post about the apple.
I'm thinking that most of your readers, living where they do, would not ask themselves why your predicament is so.
I grew up in this third world country...living here right now.
Many times, visiting París, I told myself that a few things I saw or happened would remind me of how things work in Paraguay.

Today, while I read your post...I had the same feeling...
The attitude of the authorities responsable for such negligence is "tercer mundista" and careless.
I "adherir" myself to your feelings of indignation.

Thanks for reading this, M. Peter
Take care.

martinealison said...

Bonjour cher Peter,

Pour ma pomme ! Oui, j'aime bien savoir pourquoi, pour qui et qui à créer tel ou tel chef-d'oeuvre...

Gros bisous ♡