Last weekend in Cognac, France, Cai Guo-Qiang livestreamed a colorful daytime explosion event on the Charente to honor the universal values of resilience, courage, and hope in the face of the global pandemic. Inspired by Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy, the 15-minute fireworks event in three acts (commissioned to mark Hennessy X.O’s 150th anniversary) required twenty thousand shots of fireworks which were launched from 150 oak barrels floating on the river.
Says Cai Guo-Qiang, “We are now entering a new chapter of humankind’s strenuous odyssey. The signal from Cognac, travelling through cloud infrastructure, connects individuals from different parts of the world, enabling primeval passion to burst and form a community of shared future that is closely bonded with nature and art. While the fireworks express my contemplation on tragedy, art, and the essence of life, I hope the audience will draw inspiration from the fireworks in order to reconcile with nature and find the power to heal.”
Photo credit: Simon Cassanas, @le_coincoin, Wen-you Cai, Tatsumi Masatoshi, Tang Hua Fireworks, and Francois Goize.
Discuss Cai Guo-Qiang here.