NEW YORK.- A spectacular outdoor display will light up the façade of the Payne Whitney Mansion on Thursday, March 19, to celebrate la Francophonie and the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City by French settlers. For one night only, the installation created by celebrated French light sculptor Patrick Rimoux for the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques in Quebec City will work its magic on 972 Fifth avenue, illuminating a New York City historical landmark designed by architect Stanford White, which is now the headquarters of the French Cultural Services in the United States. Mr. Rimoux will also present an indoor video installation, specially designed for the occasion.
Two high-powered projectors, giving off 20,000 lumens each, will display an intricate video over the buildings entire façade. The video will combine elaborate visual effects with animated excerpts from francophone literary works, and will run from 7pm to 1am, constantly evolving as the night progresses. According to artist Patrick Rimoux, Transposing my creation to New York gives more force to the project initiated by the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques of promoting French throughout the entire American continent. For me its a wonderful opportunity to adorn the iconic Payne Whitney façade, facing Central Park, with words of light from francophone poetryQuebecois, Canadian, American, Creole, Acadian
Its a beautiful continuation of this project between Quebec and New York. Patrick Rimouxs installation in Quebec City, initially meant to be temporary, has been so successful that it will become a permanent fixture at the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques, which was inaugurated on October 18, 2008, in the presence of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Premier of Quebec, Jean Charest.
The lighting of the Payne Whitney Mansion on March 19 is being organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, la Maison Française of Washington, D.C., le Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques, the Québec Government Office, the Belgian Tourist Office, the Consulate General of Canada, the Consulate General of Switzerland, the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, and TV5. This event is placed under the patronage of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and will lead up to the International Celebration of la Francophonie which will be celebrated, as every year, on March 20 by over 200 million French-speakers in 68 countries across the world. The language they share embodies their solidarity as they cooperate to promote a globalization that is respectful of cultural differences.