Elan - the biggest existing massive clay sculpture in the world

At the age of 25, Andrés Ginestet won a contest to create a sculpture for the inner court of the Postbank regional headquarters in Dortmund, Germany. His design was chosen, winning out over competitors like the British sculptor, Tony Cragg and 2000 others. The following 10 years of his life were dedicated to his project called "ELAN".
Selon Henri Bergson, mouvement vital et créateur qui traverse la matière en se diversifiant (1907).
The ELAN is a 30 ton clay figure, half female / half male, crawling in its own corporal limits and trying to reach its own reflection in a mirror. It is the only sculpture worldwide dedicated to emancipation in its vast and universal meaning. We emancipate only from ourselves trying to surmount our own limitations day after day. This concept also was reflected in the materials used. A entirely new mixture of clay plus new techniques of firing had to be invented in order to create this sculpture which is the largest existing clay sculpture in the world.
With the German Reunification in 1990, emancipation became part of the ongoing project. The budget was suddenly cut by 75% but Andrés Ginestet opts to continue the work as scheduled reinvesting his profit from the project and getting sponsors to support parts of the construction. Nevertheless, he finishes the heroic work which includes music, poetry and a perfume woven into the entire concept.
Unexpectedly, during the installation of the sculpture, the postalbank employees began a general strike because they wanted to discuss the concept of emancipation as expressed by the ELAN. They hoped to create a more emancipated working climate. At the same time, the direction of the Postbank decided to "close" the inner court, the site of the ELAN. Since then, anybody who is not employed by the Postbank has to ask permission to visit the ELAN - including Andrés Ginestet himself.

(Steel: 25 x 8 x 16 m, 25t; Clay: 7 x 5 x 6 m, 30 t ; Music and Perfume)