Artists George Sanchez-Calderon & Shelter Serra were at Art Basel in Switzerland and made a pilgrimage to Ronchamp. Below is Sanchez-Calderon's video of the trip (set to Charlie Winston's In Your Hands) and his writing.
We anticipated making Kunsthalle our departure point - God knows who
we could run into.
It's is an environment that embraces the visceral - and that night I meet an angel who elevated me simply by taking me to the dance floor. Her arm glazed over my shoulder as she lead the way, she parted the ocean with the subtlety of her sway, God bless her.
As the witching hour struck at 4:30 a.m., she spat me out and I
stepped outside to find Shelter deep in conversation. Final
invitations were made, and the last person you usually speak to is the
one that can convince you to stay - starring beauty in the eye is
Driving with a friend is just that. Good, bad & you disagree, get
lost, and finally find the place. Driving through Ronchamp/Champagne
is charming and idyllic at the top but shocking at 6:30 in the
morning when you realize the church is fenced in, not visible and
closed until 10:00 a.m.
In the parking lot: Our Euro-car and a camper trailer with a crew of three or four people dead asleep inside of it. Our options were simply, wait or... take a walk, and so we did.
Slightly down the embankment we found a trail, and within a few steps we
realized it was a marker for the pilgrim’s path. It lead us through
an opening in the fence, over the newly excavated Piano site, (Renzo
Piano has designed a new visitor center which should open in 2011)
and back up a small ledge to find an opening in a second and much taller
Shelter stepped through and I thought of the countless people
jumping fences to skate pools, visit a girlfriend, or just escape.
It happens. And it happened today, in the eastern region of France;
two Americans snuck a peak, laid back, sketched and were humbled. We
stayed about an hour and a half, left the same way we came in, didn't
speak a word on the way back to Zurich / NY / Miami. Actually, we
didn't speak for a couple of days, no need to.
•In honor of David Carradine: The Kung Fu Master 1936-2009
- George Sanchez-Calderon