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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


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Heatherwick is a genius, but so much of his work rests on representations of almost aching fragility - he wanted the torch to be scorched, for the metal to represent what athletes go through. He wanted the copper to be hand-beaten, again to represent human endeavour. The trouble is neither this board or indeed the general public are especially representative of the type of person who gets enthused by contemporary art. It would have been cheaper to go for something like Atlanta, but they wanted to send a message, but I don't think it really has worked, not least because our appetite for the grand gesture has increased, not diminished. A bit like going to the Louvre, seeing the (tiny) Mona Lisa, and saying 'I stood in line for this'?

I agree

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Heatherwick is a genius, but so much of his work rests on representations of almost aching fragility - he wanted the torch to be scorched, for the metal to represent what athletes go through. He wanted the copper to be hand-beaten, again to represent human endeavour. The trouble is neither this board or indeed the general public are especially representative of the type of person who gets enthused by contemporary art. It would have been cheaper to go for something like Atlanta, but they wanted to send a message, but I don't think it really has worked, not least because our appetite for the grand gesture has increased, not diminished. A bit like going to the Louvre, seeing the (tiny) Mona Lisa, and saying 'I stood in line for this'?

I appreciated the video and this thoughtful post. I said several pages back that the cauldron is a success a a sculpture, but a failure as a cauldron. I think that's what you are saying in a more articulate way..

LOCOG did not seem to appreciate the medium they were working with. An Olympic Stadium is not the Tate Modern. A cauldron is evaluated by different standards. Many of these choices and ideas (admirable as they are), just don't translate. A successful cauldron would most likely flop at the Tate.....

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Spot the cauldron. The words on the screen is more visible than the flame! Just seen a close-up of the petals on TV, they are burnt black through and through beyond recognition

55744210151324227397589.jpg

An obvious shoot out to this:

london-1948-olympics.jpg

Not bad. I just wish the cauldron looked better

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1948 has the excuse of Brave Austerity and Stepping Up to host when the world was shattered and broke...No one could afford to travel to New York...

As for the flame in 1948 it shows a tentitive begining of hope. This was the first time the flame was used in an OSG since 1936...From there it seem to live within the lower decks of the stadium untill the 60s and then started the oneupmanship competition among hosts ever since...

Prehaps the 'Flaming Golfclubs' is a reset. A reminder the games are for the athletes?

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I appreciated the video and this thoughtful post. I said several pages back that the cauldron is a success a a sculpture, but a failure as a cauldron. I think that's what you are saying in a more articulate way..

LOCOG did not seem to appreciate the medium they were working with. An Olympic Stadium is not the Tate Modern. A cauldron is evaluated by different standards. Many of these choices and ideas (admirable as they are), just don't translate. A successful cauldron would most likely flop at the Tate.....

Well compared. Actually I can totally imagine this design commissioned by Tate as a reaction exhibit to the generic Olympic cauldron.

I love how davey romanticise the whole cauldron in his live blog eg. small and being part of the spectators, humble and proud etc. Anyone can spin how they want on this cauldron. But the imprint of an olympic athletics shot with cauldron flame high above everything else is just too deep in my mind. We are used to seeing the Olympic flame shining over us majestically, and somehow I felt something is missing in London's athletics so far. Sometimes it feels like an Olympic, and sometimes it feels like a world championship. If we have a big flame above, nobody will be confused.

Why do we want to go back to a small cauldron for a time with limited resource, technology and much smaller global audience?

Edited by kevzz
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The stadium really isn't cauldron-friendly.

A cauldron on the roof probably wouldn't have worked for numerous reasons, one down below next to the stands clearly dosen't work, and one outside towering above the floodlights would be way too high for the in-stadium cameras.

Stadiums with at least one open end from now on, please.

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How far apart are the two main stadiums?

According to Google Earth, about 20 minutes apart by car. Makes me wonder how it could work if they were to have two cauldrons.

As for London's cauldron,

In my opinion, the way they have it sitting in that tunnel makes it look so insignificant.

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it just seems so modest, like the Games are being scaled down.

I think many would argue this to be a good thing, as the Games have been getting almost too big, with each host trying to outdo and one-up previous hosts. I got the feeling that LOCOG deliberately wanted not to play that game.

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The stadium really isn't cauldron-friendly.

A cauldron on the roof probably wouldn't have worked for numerous reasons, one down below next to the stands clearly dosen't work, and one outside towering above the floodlights would be way too high for the in-stadium cameras.

Stadiums with at least one open end from now on, please.

Athens has the best stadium design that wholly integrated the cauldron as part of the architecture, instead of a improvised after-thought like most games. For that, I applaud the organisers vision because it is the most elegant and majestic cauldron ever

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Athens has the best stadium design that wholly integrated the cauldron as part of the architecture, instead of a improvised after-thought like most games. For that, I applaud the organisers vision because it is the most elegant and majestic cauldron ever

Hmmm

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It will be very interesting to see what Rio does considering their stadium situation.

Given the new roof, they could offer the same sun approach as their 2007 cauldron, only to rise up and rest either above field or on the roof, so it can be seen from miles around. Alternatively they can go the "cheap" approach (well something not as technical) and have a cauldron tower near Maracana, which represents the sun (a spinning cauldron on top) and also as a tourist trap (that could also serve as an observation tower).

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6.7 kilometres or 4.2 miles linear distance, according to Google Earth.

Okay, well what I was thinking of clearly wouldn't work. :P

On topic of the London cauldron though, while the lighting was cool, the positioning and such could be so much better. As it stands right now, because it's in front of a screen, it can't burn it's brightest.

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I'm thinking for Rio, they will light the cauldron in the ceremony, then on the morning of athletics, another formal ceremony where another torchbearer will get the flame from the original cauldron and run to the athletics stadium to light the other cauldron there in front of the crowd. Then the T&F event will start immediately!

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I'm thinking for Rio, they will light the cauldron in the ceremony, then on the morning of athletics, another formal ceremony where another torchbearer will get the flame from the original cauldron and run to the athletics stadium to light the other cauldron there in front of the crowd. Then the T&F event will start immediately!

But the flame is not only for athletics but for every event!

During Rio 2007 Panamerican Games they did the same what are going to repeat in 2016: the Maracana was used for both Opening and Closing ceremonies and soccer finals and Joao Avelange Stadium for athletics. That time, they just ligthed up one small cauldron inside in sun shape.

rio_cauld.png

For Guadalajara 2011 Panamerican Games, also they had two cauldrons, one in the ceremonies stadium where also the soccer finals was played (Omnilife stadium) and the other in the Athletic complex which was just lit when athtletics events started.

paolaenciendepebetero_14oct500_0.jpg

She lit a symbolic cauldron in the middle of the stadium and a fireworks display started to finish lighting the main cauldron atthe top of the stadium

pebetero.jpg

It is the Athletic complex cauldron. Another exactly alike was at the top of the Omnilife Stadium.

What can Rio do? Just light up the main cauldron in Maracana, and at the same time light the cauldron at Joao Aveange stadium simbolically...

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Since they already going to have at least two cauldrons, I'd very much to see them have one at each of the four Olympic clusters then!

It will be quite nice actually to spread the flame to different parts of the city, and that way everybody can see the flame everywhere! Also imagine the potential of giving these four precious opportunities to four Brazillians design talent. Each cauldron is unique and design inspiration is related to where it's sited.

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Wahwahwah! How original!! Wouldn't wipe my ass with such a stupid idea. :lol::lol:

Wow. You probably thought that your post was funny, didn't you? You got owned by a newbie. Get over it. I mean your PM and all. Childish much?

And I love that Pan-American Games cauldron. It's certainly a different take.

Edited by nykfan845
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Here are some quotes from the London Evening Standard re London's design etc. Every host city has to do it there own way. It might be helpful to remember that in ancient Olympia during the games the flame was probably burning in a small bowl on the temple steps so in one sense the London approach to go smaller is far more in keeping with the original games.

“In the Olympic Games, the stadium is the temple, and somehow this flame’s job is to be the altar,” Thomas Heatherwick tells me, the morning after the unveiling of his spectacular cauldron at the end of the Opening Ceremony. “There is a spiritual dimension, but without it being connected to any faith – the Olympics itself has its own power.”

It’s a point he makes with his design. His cauldron is a stirring tribute to the human spirit. Inspired by Danny Boyle’s desire to do away with bombast and connect the ceremony with people, Heatherwick decided not just to pay lip service to Olympian ideals, but to evoke his awe at the notion of 204 nations coming together in peace. And in turn he has inspired awe in us.

It is a work of visionary and poetic brilliance – a fitting culmination to a ceremony which opened with Blake and Shakespeare. He says he wanted to avoid “a shaped bowl on a stick” and the way he did so was breathtakingly beautiful.

Our first glimpse was of mysterious metal rods with cupped copper petals at their tips, lying low in the darkness. The spectacle which followed was terrifically moving – the gentle chain reaction as each of the 204 flames lit, forming a glowing ring; the steady waves of light moving up towards the centre in waves, forming a dome of beacons; and that final dazzling burst.

Like Boyle, Heatherwick looked to obscure, folkish British references – he was partly inspired by “the simple power of fire in the landscape” he found at the Hay on Fire Festival at Hay-on-Wye. But the elegant circles also aimed to create “an underwater moment”, like the movements of a jellyfish.

It is remarkable that a feat of complex mechanical engineering could be balletic and graceful as well as starkly powerful.

Thomas Heatherwick On…

WHAT THE PETALS SYMBOLISE

“We wondered if every country could bring a little piece, because that is what’s happening: each country is bringing a contribution to the Games, and it is the combination of all those that creates something bigger. Every single one of those copper objects is unique, we gave ourselves a lot more work by having to design 204 different objects. It felt like such an honour to do this, and so we spent thousands of hours designing each one, because we knew that the cauldron is not just some sort of theatre prop, one of those is going to sit there in a case somewhere, whether it is Liberia or Western Somoa, and it needed to be meaningful by itself. So when you see them together they are all jostling with each other, and we wanted there to be the gaps and cracks between them.”

WHY COPPER IS BETTER THAN GOLD

“We felt that gold, silver and bronze are pretty stitched up in the Olympics, and it could have so much obvious cheesiness - There is a raw quality to copper as a pure metal, and we find it in every home in our electrical wires and our boiler cupboards and our plumbing tubing”

GOING AGAINST THE BRIEF

“Our brief when the ceremonies team spoke to us with Danny was ‘could you design the cauldron? But whatever you do, don’t have any moving parts.’ There was this moment when we realised that the idea we felt really needed to be done used the most moving parts humanly possible to create a cauldron. So it is a pretty ultimate gadget, but it is a mechanical device, there is no trickery, there are no flashing LEDs.”

DANNY BOYLE

“It was great to work with Danny Boyle and his team, because he inspires the people around him in a special way. Even on the day of the Opening Ceremony, I was on the telephone with him for half an hour, to perfect how we would do the final lighting. The most high-pressured person in London, who had barely slept for weeks, wanted the artists around him to achieve what they wanted within the commissions that were part of his overview, his bigger vision. And he brought the best out of people around him.”

KEEPING IT SECRET

“We did all our rehearsals at three o’clock in the morning, because no one could know – no one, none of the volunteers, knew what the cauldron was. There were only about five or six of us in on it. Even while they were all practicing drumming and everything, underneath their feet was the cauldron, while everyone was imagining it was somewhere else, somewhere on the roof. The only time when the helicopter couldn’t fly over was when we tried out the movement and tested the flames - when everyone was out of the way.”

A PEOPLE’S CAULDRON

“With cauldrons, they have seemed to get bigger and bigger, and the spirit Danny was speaking about with his ceremony was to do with connecting more with people and rooting things, rather than them just being up in the air like a dream in the sky. And we were looking at pictures together in my studio, like the London 1948 games and there the cauldron was sitting in among the spectators in the stadium, it was there with everybody, it was a participant rather than a beacon in the sky.”

(Finally, I say good luck to Rio for a successful games. JB)

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"A people's cauldron" - yes, but only a cauldron for the people in the stadium.

"Connecting more with people" - yes, but only connecting with the people in the stadium.

"Rather than like a dream in the sky" - what's wrong with a shining beacon representative of each human being's dreams and hopes, sitting in an elevated location for everyone to see?

Being different just for the sake of being different is not always a good choice, Mr. Heatherwick. The concept of the 204 petals for each participating nation is beautiful, but it would have worked as well if it had sat at (or at least been moved to) the roof.

Here's the link to the article, by the way:

http://www.standard.co.uk/olympics/olympic-news/thomas-heatherwick-britain-is-a-cauldron-of-creativity-7987368.html

Oops, sorry - here's the correct link (but the other article is interesting as well): http://www.standard.co.uk/arts/visual-arts/the-olympic-cauldron--review-7987060.html

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