ROUNDABOUT ART

Roundabouts are enjoying increasing popularity among urban planners, but also artists. We embark on an entertaining tour of Europe and introduce artists who are exhibiting their work in the middle of traffic islands.

What do giant kiwis, suspended taps and luminous rolls of paper have in common? They’re pieces of art on display in the centre of traffic roundabouts, that are attracting visitor numbers museums can only dream of! Roundabouts are becoming increasingly popular because they are safer, cheaper and lower-maintenance than intersections with traffic lights. France is Europe’s front-runner with around 60,000 roundabouts, and more planned. These traffic islands are creating a new, unused public space that is almost asking to be designed. We embark on a “round trip” of Europe and discover roundabouts in France, Switzerland, Lanzarote, and in Greece where we meet documenta artist Costas Varotsos with his huge glass sculptures. Leading French roundabout artist, Jean Luc Plé, shows us his folk art in the form of sailing boats, giant fruit and oversized insects. In the Swiss canton of Aargau, we meet art curator Friederike Schmid who has created a roundabout typology. And in Lanzarote we take a look at the weighty wind chimes of painter, sculptor and architect Cesar Manrique. In an entertaining and humorous way, the film takes viewers to a world they encounter every day, yet one they barely know.

Arts / Culture
Length 52’ HD
Film by Udo Vieth
Production TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion for ZDF/ARTE, 2019
Original title Kunst? Für Beifahrer / Le rond-point – Un art passager?