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‘A Village Fountain’ – Vernier (CH), 1981
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What was, in the past, the role of a fountain: to provide fresh water, doesn’t justify its existence anymore. Today, public fountains are, most of the time, just decorative objects running undrinkable recycled water. Their former status as a social meeting point disappeared with their initial function.
Vernier’s coat of arms presents three heraldic symbols directly water related: a water mill wheel, the sinuosity of a river and a fish. The primacy of the element is reflected in the piece. The Rhone borders Vernier on one side. Following the curves of the river, the water pours out in the basin, which reproduces the geographic shape and orientation of the commune. Cast in bronze, emerging from the water, Vernier’s four most important constructed areas are represented.
Rather than imposing on the viewer a simple object to look at, the idea is to give the opportunity to localize himself on the whole territory of the commune, to invite local people to approach their surroundings with a different eye and visitors to discover - to let spectator’s imagination extend out of his directly visible environment.