L'Apinaute, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Paris
In a troubling period for bees when paradoxically the city is becoming a friendlier terrain than certain countrysides for their survival, the Apinaut for Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is a sign, a sculpture that asks about the place of the bee in urban space.
The Apinaute is an installation: It shows the beekeeper a new genre.
With its engine, it goes looking for a beehive especially in the spring, to offer them an agreeable framework in the city and protect the inhabitants.
The sculpture represents a standing beekeeper dressed in a loose-fitting white pea jacket and his hat with an advancing headscarf.
The Apinauet updates the beekeeper’s occupation with humour. He becomes a super hero of our times. In the manner of the heroic sculptures of the Soviet cosmonauts, the Apinaute celebrates the living.
Dressed all in white, he rises into the air and makes it possible for bees and humans to live together, and multiply their presence in the city.
He moves about and can recover beehives because the firemen no longer do that.
More concretely, the Apinaut has a wooden beehive on his back, which attracts the beehives looking for a place to live.
The project wants to show new vigilance about bees, which have been disappearing greatly over recent years.
They live well in our cities, where pesticides have been chased away.
More than a matter of producing large quantities, the honey fabricated in town reassures us. Not everything is irremediable. It lets us show that we can change our logic to save diversity.
This installation also prefigures the installation of a hive of larger scope on the site of the gardens of the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie.
- Philippe Piron