Leap into the Void, 1960, October

  • Leap into the Void
    Artistic action by Yves Klein 5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France Photography
The title of this photographic work by Yves Klein from his newspaper Sunday, November 27, 1960, is: "A man in space! The painter of space leaps into the void!", 1960.

"Today the painter of space must, in fact, go into space to paint, but he must go there without trickery or deception, and not in an airplane, nor by parachute or in a rocket: he must go there on his own strength, using an autonomous individual force; in short, he must be capable of levitation."
Yves Klein, excerpt from Sunday, November 27th, 1960, The Newspaper of a Single Day, 1960

Yves Klein considered that space was his domain and that he could go there by the power of the spirit alone.

The jump takes place in Fontenay-aux-Roses, in a street where a judo club had often welcomed him.

Anxious, as usual, to keep track of his actions, he invited, to immortalize the gesture, his two favorite photographers: John Kender and Harry Shunk. It is they who will realize in their Parisian laboratory this photomontage published for the first time in the frontpage of the newspaper creatde by Yves Klein "Sunday, the newspaper of a single day", which the Parisians will find, on November 27, 1960.

Yves Klein rises from a pillar at the entrance of a pavilion, his face turned to the sky, his arms crossed. Far from falling, the artist seems to take off.

The street is deserted, apart, at the bottom, on the right of the photo, a back cyclist who has just passed. A man in full levitation between heaven and earth did not stop or turn around; he continues his way, indifferent to this act which, nevertheless, seems to us unusual, even disconcerting. A testimony collected from Harry Shunk by Sidra Stich tells us that the cyclist was the photographer John Kender and that the idea of including it in the photo would have come from Harry Shunk himself.

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