On 22 October 2022, the Place de l'Étape in Fontainebleau and the fountain sculpture "Les Mâts" by the artist Elías Gama, 2018 graduate, were inaugurated. This creation is the result of a partnership between the City of Fontainebleau and the Beaux-Arts de Paris.
As a sponsor of the new professional course "Fresco & Art in situation" at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, which offers students a diversified exploration of the challenges of an art that belongs squarely in the public space, the city of Fontainebleau wanted to entrust a young artist from the Beaux-Arts de Paris with the creation of a work on the occasion of the new development of the Place de l'Étape.
Among the fifteen or so applications received, Elías Gama's sketch was selected by the jury for its poetic project, inspired by the forest and heritage of Fontainebleau. The Mâts are made up of 5 brass structures, like filiform maritime pines, rooted in a circular ground in comblanchien, a Fontainebleau stone, strewn with coloured ceramics in the shape of pebbles reminiscent of leaves, which, drop by drop, will exude water through their branches, which will be recovered in the ground and will flow back to the trunks.
"Course for course
At the foot of the trees, the light filters through the branches and loses the walker's gaze in the succession of patterns and coloured shades that add up all around him, over a few crystalline clinks. Sparse, the branches, high and isolated, in addition to the nearby teeming forest, exhale the lachrymal flows of the substantial truths of our era.
To be "under checkmate" in chess is when one can no longer move a piece without leading it to its logical demise, an organisation beyond progress, where strategy yields to prosody. Escamotage the charmilles, opaque cradles of yesteryear that domesticated the "common hornbeams" in the woods, these pylons probe our time and mark with rainbow pebbles, the daily pace of busy passers-by. They are discovered, from these leaves that have failed, to the sound of dripping, and to the sight of the ceramics that stamp them on the ground. [...]"