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A Tenth Spring by Mickaël Martin, Margaux Rodot & Benoît Tastet

Paul Kozlowski

Unveiled at this year’s ‘Festival des architectures vives‘, taking place on a yearly basis within the inner courtyards of selected town-houses, the installation — titled ‘A Tenth Spring’ — celebrates the spring of cultural heritage.

Seduced by O-Hanami, a Japanese traditional custom of admiring the ephemeral beauty of the cherry blossoms, the installation allows the spectator to plunge into a suspended moment. This timelessness evokes the imagery of petals gently detaching themselves one by one. Staging the springtime cherry blossoms invites passers-by to reflect on the intangibility of passing time, on the delicate balance between life and death, focusing on perpetual renewal.


“A Tenth Spring” takes place within the Griffy town-house courtyard. Throughout the day, viewers are exposed to the varying perceptions of the installation, as witnessed through the ever-changing reflections of the ‘petals’ on the surrounding historic windows. The foliage brightens towards the end of the day as the petals fall, renewing the experiences.


Staging this springtime scene involves layering discrete nets towards the sky, 10 meters high above the courtyard. Each day, 650 helium balloons are released to compose the ephemeral foliage. Variations in the volume of helium used to inflate, enables the balloons to descend throughout the entire day, reflecting the falling petals of the cherry tree. In order to renew the process across the the 6 days of the festival, approximately 4000 balloons and 7m3 of helium were required.

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all images © Paul Kozlowski