© Matthieu Chauveau

Le Voyage à Nantes

Nantes: July-August 2019

Le Voyage à Nantes

The Voyage à Nantes event has stage set the town every summer since 2012. Forty historical and modern sites make up the sensitive and poetic trail of the same name. This permanent ‘dispersed monument’ can be traced by following the green line along the ground. It’s a summertime stopover where art tips the town upside down! Diversity and free admission to the vast number of its offerings are once again its strong points.

Art galore

The Voyage à Nantes unites around fifty cultural elements. For two months, art infuses the city of Nantes and weaves a collaborative fabric. The 12 kilometre long trail is reactivated by artists, architects, designers and gardeners…

The cultural gateways (media library, museums, national venues…) have to open wide in order to welcome their large and inquisitive public 7 days a week. Over 60,000 visitors will step into the Théâtre Graslin to wonder at Aurélien Bory’s ‘Spectacula’ light installation (VAN 2015).

A constellation of artists unfurls into public spaces turning them into great places to meet up. On the banks of the Loire the non-conformist furniture collective Fichtre (barbecue, tables …) has created a really welcoming spot. In place Bouffay, art has fun every year. The artist Baptiste Debombourg has stacked 1,200 café chairs up high into a huge, colourful roller-coaster (“Stellar” – VAN 2015).

Works of art pop up in the most unexpected of places: naughty sign posts disrupt the flow of the streets. The ‘skate ô drome’ is part skatepark, part velodrome installed on the roof of the school of architecture (VAN 2015).

A town to play in

The first four editions (2012 to 2015) underlined the playful and surrealist nature of the town and its insistence on the highest quality. The VAN aims to be a celebrated for its diversity;the world of Claude Ponti, the children’s illustrator takes over thejardin des Plantes,masterpieces from the Fine Arts Museum exhibited in town …

On the canal Saint-Felix sits a barge that has been transformed into a playground for savvy graffiti artists. The entire collection of artworks can be perceived without being analysed or approached by one of the on-site mediators. Teenagers and children, art connoisseurs and novices come and wander round at their own pace. Smiles, surprises, occasional annoyance but never indifference all await our green line tightrope walkers.

Leaving a mark

Temporary sometimes becomes permanent…When a work of art has captured our hearts, found its place or provoked a reaction, it can be made into a permanent urban feature. This has meant that over the first four editions the trail has been enriched by 20 installations. The VAN shapes the shape of the town!

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