July 12, 2005 - Centre international d'art et du paysage, Vassivière Island - Claude Lévêque
July 12, 2005

Claude Lévêque

Centre international dart et du paysage de lîle de Vassivière

1000 Plateaux
Claude Lévêque

Opening 16 July 2005 6 pm
Open to the public 17 July to 10 October 2005

Centre international dart
et du paysage
Ile de Vassivière F – 87120
tel : ( 33) 05 55 69 27 27
fax : ( 33) 05 55 69 29 31
centre.d-art.vassiviere@wanadoo.fr

Open every day from 11 am to 7 pm

When one arrives at Vassivière Island, one feels like entering a magnetic pole made of the two architectural and landscape axes designed by Aldo Rossi and Xavier Fabre: the lighthouse tower and the gallery. The latter descends in the direction of the lake and houses the bookstore, the library, the reading room and the small theater, while the lighthouse is linked to the island, the sculpture garden, and the forest. This is all one uninterrupted chain formed by numerous elements that are all devoted to creation, production, research and teaching.

In the International Center for Art and Landscape, art exists to relate to architecture and landscape. It is difficult to imagine a more flexible place than a forest or a lake dedicated to artistic creation. Chameleon-like places that change constantly in accordance with the artists who intervene both outside and inside the building.

The director Chiara Parisi has invited artist Claude Lévêque to occupy and interpret the polymorphic spaces of the International Center.

Born in 1953, Claude Lévêque is one of the best-known French artists on the international circuit. His early autobiographical and narrative work has gradually moved towards creating radical installations offered to the visitors sensitive experience.

The exhibition 1000 PLATEAUX designed for Vassivière Island, intervenes as a concrete and critical action on reality, and in this sense is a continuation of the activity and reflection that has been developed by the International Center. Claude Lévêques boldly sacrilegious work deals a powerful blow to Aldo Rossis landscape and building. The artists action concerns the interior and exterior of the Art Center viewed as locations of similar semantic value.

Claude Lévêque touches on the key point as well as the main characteristic of the institution where he intervenes: the close connection between architecture and landscape which has been the reason and obsession of the Art Center ever since it was founded. He operates in a sharp and ironic – but always powerfully poetic – fashion, a painful poetry that shakes the spectator by plunging him into a peculiar emotional and psychological situation.
1000 PLATEAUX is the metamorphosis of the place in all of its most peculiar aspects. Claude Lévêque has not chosen to intervene in Vassivière Island because of his adhesion to Aldo Rossis post-modernist architecture for all that the project does respond to the Italian architects theatrical fancy – but rather because of his sensibility and attentive power of observation of the place, where he creates a circular flow between nature, architecture and human presence.

The result is a total re-activation of the elements that make up landscape and building. Through this movement the artist justifies a semantic shifting operation, raising to the category of works of art one of the typical elements of the regional landscape: cows. As a result of the switching of meaning provoked by the artist, cows are made an integral part of the collection of sculptures in the gardens. At the same time, the lighthouse imagined by Aldo Rossi as a spot for observation and reflection becomes the sonorous landmark of the animal behavior and violence that is considered to be inherent to the spectator/inhabitant of the exhibition.

The project is an investigation into reality. In the new vision proposed by the artist, the building is no longer seen as a place of art, but is rather demystified and reduced to its architectural essence as a large covered space in the middle of a natural place, where it becomes a vast cowshed.

Claude Lévêque undertakes an almost philological recovery of the large spaces resembling the sole nave of some Roman basilica of the days of the Empire, used for the allocutio of Emperors and Senators, but also for the street market and trade. The area of the Roman forum was previously nothing more than pasture land. Nature is ever present, but it gives way to new darker and less bucolic sensations. It reclaims its rights and is capable of irreverently invading the spaces of culture and art jealously protected by the conservatives/conservationists.

Claude Lévêque involves visitor and territory in this large arrangement where the notion of a calm landscape is knocked from its pedestal, dragging with it all pre-established realities.

This exhibition is the fruit of Claude Lévêques creative universe. It is not simply a unique experience to be shared; it is also a look at the contextual entity that we call landscape, an evocation of the codes that a population uses as a reference. Claude Lévêques work feeds off the punk movement, the music of the Stones, Bowie all the references that end up representing the specific reality of a generation.

On Vassivière Island Claude Lévêque continues to expose a deeply paradoxical reality. Upsetting space, imposing his own filter and optic distortion, the artist surprisingly renews the elements that make up the landscape and architecture by totally transforming an art center and stimulating of this we are sure new and different reactions.

With the collaboration of Gerome Nox and Léo Carbonnier.

Within the framework of this exhibition, a catalog is edited by Silvana Editoriale (Milan). Art direction : Paola Manfrin.
French and English editions.

The Centre international dÅfart et du paysage enjoys the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication/Drac Limousin, the Limousin Regional Council, the la Creuse General Council and the Vassivière en Limousin (SYMIVA) Regional and Inter-departmental Mixed Syndicate.
The exhibition 1000 PLATEAUX by Claude Lévêque is sponsored in partnership with GAEC Chatoux Pichon Ferme Auberge, LEcho and Naturalia.

Centre international dart et du paysage
Ile de Vassivière F – 87120
tel : ( 33) 05 55 69 27 27
fax : ( 33) 05 55 69 29 31
e.mail : centre.d-art.vassiviere@wanadoo.fr

Open every day from 11 am to 7 pm

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