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Penny Stamps Speaker Series

Jaume Plensa

Can You Hear Me?

Friday, February 19, 2021 at 8:00 pm

Jaume Plensa

Photo credit: Patrick Young

“Can You Hear Me?” is a documentary film that follows internationally celebrated Spanish artist Jaume Plensa for a year and a half, offering audiences an unfiltered look into his artistic process. Directed by Pedro Ballesteros, the film presents Plensa’s story across seven chapters, moving between moments from the studio and the production of some of Plensa’s most ambitious public projects, including the recent large-scale works installed at Rockefeller Center and Hudson Yards in New York. 

Plensa is one of the world’s foremost sculptors in the public realm with award-winning projects spanning the globe in such cities as Calgary, Chicago, San Diego, Montréal, London, Paris, Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Tokyo. His monumental sculpture Behind the Walls was recently installed outside the front doors of the University of Michigan Museum of Art. 

Most well known in the U.S. for his iconic Crown Fountain (2000-2005) at Millenium Park in Chicago, the artist has spent the last 35 years producing a multifaceted body of sculpture that speaks to the capacity and beauty of humanity, often bringing people together through the activation of public spaces. Conventional sculptural materials like glass, steel, and bronze blend with unconventional media such as water, light and sound to create hybrid works of intricate energy, psychological weight, and symbolic richness.

The winner of many national and international awards including the Honorary Doctorate from Univeristat Aut’onoma de Barcelona in 2018 and the 2013 Velazquez Prize awarded by the Spanish Cultural Ministry, Jaume Plensa has had solo museum exhibitions at the MACBA: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid Spain; MAMC–Musée d’art moderne et contemporain Saint-Étienne Métropole, Saint-Étienne, France; Max Ernst Museum Brühl des LVR, Brühl, Germany; The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire, England; and Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas. He lives and works in Barcelona.

Behind the Walls is a University of Michigan Museum of Art purchase made possible by the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family.

A screening of the documentary will be followed with a conversation between the artist and Christina Olsen, Director of UMMA, and U-M students. The documentary will be available for a 3 week limited engagement through special arrangement with the filmmaker.

This event is presented in partnership with UMMA. Our 2020-2021 Series is brought to you with the support of our partners, Detroit Public Television and PBS Books.

How to Watch

All events will be webcast on Fridays at 8pm (ET) at pennystampsevents.org and dptv.org/pennystamps. Join the conversation on the Penny Stamps Series Facebook page.

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Notice of uncensored content: In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on “Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression,” the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.