Claude Lévêque: “Human Fly” in Saint-Nazaire


#SAINT-NAZAIRE Memory clashes with contemporary reality and the mythologies it evokes. This would therefore be enough to make Claude Lévêque’s work provocative. Especially since his installations proceed through confusing detours that contrast with the extreme simplicity of his subject. Thus “Human Fly” refers to the memory of a Cramp music – a reminder of the punk culture from which the artist comes – but also to the fly which, with its diffracted vision system, imposes another perspective. Another detour, then, another dive into childhood. And also a false entry into the expected work when the exhibition poster takes the image of a merry-go-round with its naive planes in the colours of a bygone era.

As always, the simplicity of the approach and the materials – objects, sounds and lights – are confronted with the disproportionate effect produced In the former submarine base of Saint Nazaire Claude Lévêque reactivates this field of memory with the intensity of the perceptual shock. No narrative will emerge from this permanent tension between an underground and enclosed place, its mass of raw concrete and the reminder of the chaos of the bombardments to which it was subjected. Only the effect caused in the spectator who, without his knowledge, updates the sensory disorder of those who suffered it.

Claude Lévêque, once again, is attached to this distortion that takes place between a place, its function, its architecture and the event it creates, not to signify or restore a memory but rather to break the stranglehold of space and time in which any story is constructed. What he pursues is the ephemeral, the shock of the present, the imbalance and the loss of sensory landmarks in the attack of subjectivity until the risk of loss of meaning.

Thus this environment consists only of stainless steel rod structures that reflect the flash of the projectors in a night full of lightning. The deafening and metallic sounds tear the space to the unbearable. Pleasure and revulsion intertwine for an experience where abstraction is pushed to the point of explosion that structures our consciousness in a line of fulgurations for others possible. Here we are subjected to an experience of which we become the only masters. Claude Lévêque tells us:

“Only art offers visions, the rest, the spectacle of media politics, does not make you dream. Only pockets of resistance are essential. »


Until September 29, 2019

LIFE, Submarine Base, Saint-Nazaire

Michel Gathier

With a literary background, Michel Gathier developed a passion for art very early, particularly during long stays abroad. He has contributed to the magazine “L’art vivant” and now...

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