In his “Balubas”, executed from autumn 1961 to spring 1963, Tinguely lets a vast abundance of the detritus of civilisation and consumer rubbish perform a wild and provocative dance. Alongside pieces of iron and wire, there are plastic fragments, brightly coloured feathers, rubber bands, furs, toys - banal everyday objects that Tinguely puts together into fragile assemblages. The juxtaposition of numerous individual pieces that were never meant to go together generates a bizarre and irritating effect.
Starting in October 1960, Jean Tinguely lived with artist Niki de Saint Phalle in his studio on Impasse Ronsin. Inspired by her work, he integrated coloured feathers into the “Balubas” that give them an exuberant, high-spirited air. The improvisational look of the structure of iron wire, which is twisted together in only a few places and is hastily taped in others, gives the impression of a rapid and intuitive work process. Some “Balubas” possess a fragile equilibrium and look as though Tinguely had quickly sketched them in space.