Svayambh, France/ Germany/ UK

Artist: Anish Kapoor.
Clients: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes (FRA); Haus der Kunst, Munich (GER); Royal Academy of Arts (London).

‘Svayambh’ is a mechanically driven object covered in red-pigmented wax, which moves noiseless and imperceptibly slow through several galleries of the museum. When the body crossed the spaces the wax layer is moulded and shaped by the archways as to give the impression that the form was extruded through the gallery. ‘Svayambh’ is a Sanskrit word, meaning something that is “created out of itself”.The object was propelled by a drive system and moved over a track system on a plinth above the floor.

Length of track system: 45m (Nantes); 60m (Munich)

Dimensions: 7m x 3m x 4,50m (Nantes); 8m x 2.3m x 4.4m (Munich)

Weight of the moving form: 6.7tons

Aerotrope researched and experimented with different compoundings of wax in order to achieve the most versatile balance between material stability and plasticity. We built an in-house rig test and quantified the forces required to cut and form thissubstance. Based on the test results we designed the customized drive mechanics and controls and specified all materials and systems used in construction. We were in charge of the structural engineering design.

The transition of the moving object had to be carefully controlled in order to avoid clashing with the gallery arches. We oversaw the fabrication and installation of the artwork.