Alexander Calder's Tiny Circus.

Alexander Calder [wiki] created these fantastically detailed kinetic sculptures he called "circque de Calder."

Carlos Vilardebo's 1961 film of Alexander Calder's "circus," an intricately assembled performance piece played out by handmade characters including jugglers, sword swallowers, clowns, and animals. These figures, crafted from a collection of "cork, wire, wood, yarn, paper, string, and cloth," were each assigned a series of movements and manipulated by the artist to perform specific circus acts. With performances held at various locations in Paris and New York through the mid 1930s, Calder's circus helped to establish him in avante-garde circles. Jean Cocteau, Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, Le Corbusier, Thomas Wolfe, and André Kertész were among those who saw the celebrated Cirque Calder over the years.

Can't see the clip? Here're the links: clip 1, clip 2, clip 3, clip 4 [YouTube] - via haute*nature

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Acedia - I wonder if Calder's fairly advanced age in the video contributes to your question? Calder was a pretty young man when he started making the circus, and it was the artistic elite in Paris in the 20's that encouraged him to pursue art, particularly kinetic art. Take a look at the horses in the first clip for example - beautifully minimal but also well engineered. His larger works from the time - like the Josephine Baker - are similar in their conception and no less striking.

Thanks for sharing these clips!
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I know this is going to sound like I am some sort of art cretin -- and I'm not disputing Calder's artistic talent -- BUT...if you didn't know this was a famous artist, if it were labeled "some weird guy in my neighborhood playing with toys" would you still think this circus is the work of genius so many people say it is?
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