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What to Go See this Summer: Le Voyage à Nantes 2019

Stéphane Vigny, Installation at Place Royale, Nantes

If you are traveling around Europe this summer and have time to see a unique cultural project, add the amazing eighth edition of Le Voyage à Nantes to your schedule.  Nantes is situated on the Loire river in Western France, set in the Estuary of the Loire, in the south of Brittany and is France’s sixth largest city, with a population of 600,000.

Created by its eponymously named organization, this summer summer festival is open now until September 1st and offers a cultural itinerary celebrating surreal art, new architecture and contemporary culture by interweaving site-specific works within the city’s cultural and historical riches, complemented with a multitude of events.

For 2019, there are over 60 different works, exhibitions and installations throughout the city all free for the public to enjoy with 14 cultural partners, 105 shops and 17 hotels involved. 

Some of the highlights include:

Cornelia Konrads, The Match
  • German artist Cornelia Konrads brings humour and play to new monuments inspired by the existinig sculuptures at Domaine de la Garenne Lemot, located outside of Nantes, in Clisson. Upon entering the park, the sculptures Hippomenes and Atalanta seem engaged in an absurd match, creating an interplay between order and chaos that will set the tone for the other art works within the garden.

  • Japanese artist, Tadashi Kawamata has designed the Belvédère de l’Hermitage, a structure made entirely of wood resembling a bird’s nest hanging above a cliff, providing a platform for visitors to see exceptional views over the city and Loire river. Kawamata’s vision has seeped into the city, creating miniature nests perched on top of buildings including the turret of Le Lieu Unique, as though an ecosystem is slowly taking over Nantes.

  • French artist, Stéphane Vigny has created an open air museum of fakes within Place Royale. The collection of imitation sculptures comprised of Greek goddesses and mythical characters were inspired by Vigny’s discovery that many buildings were destroyed by the 1943 bombings and rebuilt to be identical after the war. Vigny’s copied copies highlight this locations falsity.

  • Performance art director Ludovic Nobileau, sculptor Malachi Farrell and performer and clock maker Constantin Leu have created the ‘Human Clock’, an installation which fuses performance art and sculpture at Place Graslin. The installation measures the hours of night and day, alternating between human time and machine time, proposing new rhythms and rituals. The public view different events at set times throughout the day to watch man battle machine, where smoke, ashes, vegetation and other elements burst out of the clock as he tries to tame the tempo of time.

Additionally, Le Voyage à Nantes has partnered up with the city’s hotels to create a collection of permanent hotel rooms designed by artists, extending the cultural voyage during vistiors’ stays and immersing  guests into the artist’s aesthetic world.

For updates and further details, and details of previous editions, see the website http://www.levoyageanantes.fr/en/.