Daniel Hourdé’s Enchanted Installation Haunts Paris’s Love Lock Bridge

The installation runs along the length of the Pont des Arts.

Installation shot of Daniel Hourdé's
Installation shot of Daniel Hourdé's "The Enchanted Footbridge." © Woytek Mazurek, courtesy Galerie Agnès Monplasir.

Where love locks once weighed down Paris’s Pont des Arts bridge, a new sculptural installation by Daniel Hourdé has sprung up, reports the New York Times.

Titled “The Enchanted Footbridge,” the installation runs along the length of the Pont des Arts, and features classically-inspired, ominous figures.

Affixing locks to the Pont des Arts first became a trend in 2008, and by 2012 had become a popular ritual for couples. By February 2014, the bridge was under the strain of an estimated 700,000 locks, for an added weight of about 45 tons (90,000 pounds). That summer, part of the railing actually collapsed, making it clear the bridge couldn’t afford to bear the burden of love much longer.

The mayor’s office then began a “Love Without Locks” movement, explaining “our bridges can no longer withstand your gestures of love.”

Installation shot of Daniel Hourdé's "The Enchanted Footbridge." © Woytek Mazurek, courtesy Galerie Agnès Monplasir.

Installation shot of Daniel Hourdé’s “The Enchanted Footbridge.” © Woytek Mazurek, courtesy Galerie Agnès Monplasir.

The following June, city officials removed and replaced the lock-laden bridge panels, simultaneously solving the safety issue and restoring an unobstructed view of the Seine.

It was, for some, a heartbreaking break up, but the city soon moved on, installing artwork by French-Tunisian street artist eL Seed along the bridge. Now, the site is home to the Hourdé installation, a decidedly darker subject that includes a gold-plated statue of a man being attacked by the silhouettes of vicious dogs, and a grotesque figure who seems to be tossing a man over the bridge.

The installation is presented by Galerie Agnès Monplaisir, in conjunction with a solo show by the artist at the gallery, on view through July 30, 2016. “The Enchanted Footbridge” runs through December 6, 2016.

See a selection of Instagram shots of the artwork below.













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