claude leveque: french pavilion at venice art biennale 09 claude leveque: french pavilion at venice art biennale 09
jun 24, 2009

claude leveque: french pavilion at venice art biennale 09

for this year’s 53rd venice art biennale, claude lévêque presented his work as part of the french pavillion.

le grand soir by claude lévêque image © designboom

most of claude lévêque’s work consists of installations that articulate objects, sounds and lights that take control of places and spectators. since the early 1980’s,  that is how he has developed a universe of sudden chills, half-way between coercion and rapture. a memory traumatized of childhood, and ambivalence of signs and affects, the rage of desire, a revolt against the difficulty of being and the violence of the world – lévêque’s universe finds its material and focuses its object in destruction. the existential discomfort of his stagings, the ambiguity of the feelings aroused by his devices are emblematic of contemporary forms of social control and oppression – a servitude that is or is not voluntary.

image © designboom

there you are in front of the french pavilion. it looks like a catafalque. behind the peristyle stands a black wall, blind, mute, unwelcoming. the concave facade is also painted black. your movementlimited, your feelings restrained, your gaze has to flow between the bars. here the light is intense, the pearly walls chill and diffract it. it’s the half-light, the darkness where reflections shimmer. day, night. now, over there. do these shivering black flags in the distance raise the image of a radical hope, of a possible otherworld? where is image of a radical hope, of a possible otherworld? are we the ghosts of a previous future? did the ‘grand soir’ take place yesterday?

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

claude lévêque was born in 1953 in nevers, france. lives and works in montreuil and petèloup, france.

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