Essen Light Fes­ti­val

Discover the Magic of Light

#5 Éléphant Rouge | Light Installation

Bibi, France

Welcome to our plastic world - Please warmly welcome the new inhabitant of our artificial, fast-moving and kitschy colourful world!

The big red elephant from France is a real eye-catcher. Shaped from the simplest geometric shapes and materials and brightly lit. An elephant like this fits everywhere and nowhere. It seems to have sprung straight out of a console game like Minecraft and is simply there. Its existence is artificial and literally plastic. His appearance has no pretence of being cute or funny... and yet we like him. Because he is one of us and part of our artificial, fast-moving, consumerist world. He is part of our cultural home. This is exactly what the artist plays with in a seemingly subtle, but in fact direct and very striking way. It is about our unreflected consumption and use of meaningless plastic toys, of throwaway and disposable products that make up our environment, not only in our leisure time.

Élèphant Rouge has already been on a long journey. Before the Essen Light Festival, he was a guest at other large light art festivals in Shanghai, Montreal and Lyon. There, he amazed visitors of all ages. The red giant is not only a real attraction and popular photo motif, it is also sustainable. The five-metre high and 1,130-kilogram work of light art is made of 800 recycled plastic canisters. Its creator is the French light artist Bibi. Since 1991, he has been recreating everyday objects and animals, mainly from plastic and traffic cones. Over the decades, he has transformed not only an elephant but also fish, bulls and chickens into light art objects. And this always in a playful and ironic way.

Playing time: from dusk till 10 pm

Location: Willy-Brandt-Platz

Elephant Rouge | © Mike Henning / EMG

Artist info


BIBI alias Fabrice Cahoreau creates installations for public spaces. These are all made of plastic. In this way, he refers to man's peculiar relationship with nature and questions it by confronting him with the waste that accumulates every day. Incidentally, he learned to work with plastic materials during his studies in orthopaedic technology. Before that, he was a leader in palaeontological excavations in Touraine from 1974. His artistic approach is based on his personal experiences and his encounter with the works of the New Realists and the sculptor Jacques-Yves Bruel. With his artworks, BIBI has participated several times since 2008 in the Fête des Lumières in Lyon. In addition, he has already been a guest with his works in Singapore, Montreal, Shanghai, Dubai, Moscow and Sydney, among other places. He also develops large-scale interactive projects for children and adults with disabilities.

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Overview of the locations 2022

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