THE FOURTH LIQUID SYMPHONY
A delightful congruence between technique and art, and thus the whole spectacle performed by the kinetic fountain has an engineering scenario;
The fountain visualises the harmony between the beauty of the places, the artistic talent of the man of the area, and the science of processing metals;
The fountain is a place of rest and chatting when people leave the church, but also a meeting place of lovers, and of the brides and bridegrooms for pictures to be taken with the background of water columns moving in a continuous kinetic motion;
The fire of light and the fountain water confront and complete each other, as the water jets have the shape and significance of the flames. But there are other types of flames too, that of the youth from the children’s play and of the faith from the eyes of the elders who are watching over their descendants.
The image of a place remains imprinted in the minds of the inhabitants, but also in the minds of the visitors through a visual symbol by which in time, a locality, a city or even a country is identified, like the most famous symbols in the world: The Eiffel Tower for Paris, the Big Ben for London, The Great Wall for China, the Pyramids for Egypt, the Statue of Liberty for the USA.
The Kinetic Fountain from the centre of the city Resita, with its special beauty and technical creation, became the symbol of the Mountainous Banat’s residence, visualising the harmony between the beauties of the places, the artistic talent of the man of the area and the science of metal processing.
Inaugurated on August 23rd 1984, the kinetic fountain is the work of the sculptor Constantin Lucaci, the most beautiful “liquid symphony” of the 9 monumental fountains erected by the master of light in several cities from Romania: Constanta (1971), Drobeta Turnu Severin (1979), Vaslui (1981), Resita (1984), Braila, with a cascade of three fountains (1988-1992), Giurgiu (2000), Alba Iulia (2007). [Jurma Gh, 2009].
If the sculptures-metaphors cast in stainless steel belonging to the cycle symbolically entitled “Space and Light” gave the artist international recognition as a “sculptor of light” [Segato G., 2001], “Lucaci’s Fountains” made him known to the general public. “The artist gave his name to the fountains, and the fountains gave celebrity to the artist.” [Sgaverdia D., 2008].
Each fountain is unique in its own way and has its own secrets. The kinetic fountain of Constantin Lucaci in the centre of Resita is a “delightful congruence between technique and art.” [Meila M., 2012].
The kinetic fountain in Resita is placed on two water collecting trenchers made from reinforced concrete and plated with ceramic tiles with different diameters and heights, disposed in two planes at different levels from each other. Every piece of stainless steel on each trencher has a certain symbolism. On the large lower trencher it is the central piece which, in its shape, represents both a furnace and a Kaplan turbine hub, the turbines being one of the reference products (along with the steam locomotives) made at UCM Resita.
The 7 m central piece provides an impressive vertical water play at a height that can reach 15 m. On the same lower trencher, at the base of the central body, there are two side pieces of Φ5 m, which symbolise two Francis turbine rotors. By spinning them, the water play becomes one that urges the admirer to imagination, dream, music and light.
On the little higher trencher there are two groups of four moving parts, each executing a rotation at 120 degrees, around some empty central axes. The water circulates under pressure through the two axes and leaves through the four pieces, forming a fan of waters, thrown in opposite directions. The pieces actually symbolise the coffer dams used in the construction of hydroelectric power plants.
The synchronous movement of all parts as well as the creation of the water jets is ensured by a system of mechanisms, gears and high pressure pumps, achieved through the own concept of the sculptor Constantin Lucaci, a system arranged in the underground fountain. Functionally, the mechanical and hydraulic actuators ensure the kinetic movement of the wells and the high pressure pumps ensure that “water is pushed through the entire system and thrown upward to the desired height under the conditions of realizing a closed circuit for obtaining a low water consumption” (…), as mentioned by Mircea Popa, the most important man in the construction of this assembly statuary of the new civic centre. [Popa M., 2008].
The history of the Resita fountain has also an invisible part, carried out behind the curtains of the world’s scene of the 80s, when “the Romanians were forced to make great sacrifices in order to pay off the foreign debt.” [Popovici Gh., 2009].
The “Singing Fountain” of Resita was born from the friendship of the artist Constantin Lucaci with a special man of Banat, Trandafir Cocarla. At first, they wanted to erect a 40-meter-high “monument of labour” in the new civic centre of the city. “The semi-figurative project was discussed at different levels and eventually it was not approved. In the end they erected the fountain that offers the nobleness of today’s centre” [Jurma Gh., 2009]
For the work to be executed, it had to be approved by an “inventory number” which, after several interventions, was obtained by the cultural institutions of the time with a minimum amount of investment in the realization of the so-called “labour-dedicated obelisk”. As it was a work of stainless steel, which was imported material, all kinds of strings were pulled for not exceeding the amount, important help being given by Marcu Mihail Deleanu and Cecilia Petrica, culture people and, at the same time, officials of the Local Culture Committee. The execution of the fountain was made in the greatest secret, under the guidance of Master Lucaci, in a sheepfold closed with a 2, 5 m board, belonging to the UCMR’s former steam locomotive factory and far away from curious eyes.
As the sculptor Constantin Lucaci confessed in the discussion with an American architect, the work “did not cost too much. Well, the work was done by patriotic work. Each of the Resita’s factories assigned the best craftsmen; the factory also gave a toothed wheel here, a piece of stainless steel plate there, using consumption bills. I took a sum from which I could live a year, a year and a half, not more. The American said to me: If you had been in America, you would not have had to work for the rest of your life.” [Sgaverdia D, 2008].
The transport of the first piece, which symbolically represented a 5 m Franciscus turbine rotor, created excitement at the exit from the factory, passing an inch away through the gate, thanks to the wisdom of the sculptor who, when designing the pieces, had measured in advance the size of the plant gate.
As everything had to be finished until the great celebration of August 23rd, although those were times when they would say “it could work like this too, so don’t bother“; the works were coordinated in such a way that the arrears of the works of the underground enclosure of the fountain and the two trays would be recovered and when the stainless steel parts were brought, the installation could be done and “gloss” finishing of the surfaces of the metal parts executed by 30 specialists could be performed.
The inauguration was somehow secret too, being masked by the musical-choreographic festivities of the opening of the civic centre. When they saw the explosion of the water at 30 m and the kinetic movement of the artesian fountain, the Reşiţa inhabitants had really the feeling of a real holiday. This holiday was happening after three years of hard work during which the people from Resita succeeded to build the fountain under the “command” of master Lucaci. Because in Resita, the sculptor Constantin Lucaci acquired the technique for a work well-done since childhood , having the sense for total art, for an art show of the city, and not only a museum, considering it as a “testament of humanity and pride” of Banat. As he put it “I learned what great toil means in Resita, discipline and passion for work, and that has brought me everything “. [Sgaverdia D, 2008].
The fountain’s spectacle, as an eruption of beauty and energy, attracts the viewers, urging them to stay for a long time on the benches and squares surrounded by trees, fascinating them with the water music. “My fountains can suggest anything – says the sculptor Lucaci as a modern Renaissance artist. It depends on who watches them. I do nothing but make people dream, and claim for their imagination. “[Sgaverdia D, 2008].
The “Constantin Lucaci” Kinetic Fountain in Resita is a monumental sculpture of light when it is static, and once it is set in motion it becomes the fourth and most beautiful “liquid symphony”, as its waters are swayed by the shiny pieces of stainless steel. The sound of the running water seem to “chant” a song born from the clear ripples of the Mountainous Banat’s rivers, which is why the inhabitants of Banat called it a “singing fountain”. The whole show performed by the kinetic fountain is based on an engineering scenario: “With the movement of the sculptural forms, with their steel ballet, vertically, horizontally. With the musicality of the falling water. With floating before the kinetic tempest. Even the material which had been permanently chosen – stainless steel – became an important actor that changes his expression according to the vagaries of the weather. Sometimes shining, other times gray. According to the light that falls on it. Every moving surface (…) becomes a mirror of beauty and imagination“. [Sgaverdia D, 2008].
We cannot speak of the Resita kinetic fountain of Constantin Lucaci without seeing and feeling “its symbols“. [Jurma Gh., 2009].
Arrived in front of the fountain, let the splashing drops of water drench your face like the morning dew. According to tradition, the water in the fountain symbolizes “a perpetual rejuvenation.” At Resita, even if the sky is cloudless, you can see the rainbow twice or three times a day. It is still one of the “miracles” of Constantin Lucaci’s fountains. Yes, under the effect of the kinetic rain, the rainbow appears among the tiny drops of water crossed by the sun’s rays. It is said that God promised never to send another Flood, and the rainbow reminds us of that promise. As time passed, the trees in the civic centre grew, they surrounded somehow the fountain, and now it resembles to a French or Italian garden in the centre of which the fountain lies – a symbol of Resita. The old “Fire Citadel “can now be seen in the water mirror. ”Fire and water confront and complete each other, because the water jets have the shape and the significance of flames. But there are other flames. (…) another hearth was built, a cultural one. Resita became the city with poets. “[Jurma Gh., 2009]. Near the fountain, the oasis of Resita’s poetry was installed. Look for their poems and read them!
The fountain is a place of rest and friendly chats, but also a meeting place for lovers. There is no coincidence, when in weekends during weddings celebrations, you can see pairs of young people, brides and grooms coming from the translated church after the religious service, and taking pictures here, having as background the water crowns moving in a kinetic motion, symbolising the marriage solidity and the youth of the new family.