A mammoth installation featuring a metal snake, shipping containers and a giant-sized military hat has moved into the nave of Paris’ Grand Palais.
Artist Huang Yong Ping’s Empires show is the 2016 edition of the building’s annual Monumenta exhibition, where an artist is invited to take over its mammoth 13,500 sq m nave.
Huang – known for his works involving live scorpions – conceived a 133-tonne, 254-metre-long snake that hovers below the Grand Palais’ glass dome.
A 50x scale replica of the bicorn hat Napoleon wore at the 1807 Battle of Eylau tops 305 shipping containers, which have been grouped in eight ‘island’ parts.
According to the artist, Empires is meant as an exploration of a constantly changing world through the prism of power, industrialisation and globalisation.
‘[In] history, empires were military and colonial – today, it’s more and more about economics, trade and markets,’ Huang told the New York Times. ‘You have the rise of multinationals that are sometimes larger than countries. They fight against each other to be the greatest empires.’
The exhibition runs until 18 June.