Le Voyage à Nantes 2016

An artistic and poetic trail in the city …until Sunday August 28th

Every summer since 2007, Nantes reveals itself through a cultural itinerary and as usual, the 5th edition of Le Voyage looks like a huge playground. Here, art meets landscape as heritage assets and new artworks come together. Though, about 50 thrilling and poetic stops allow everyone to fast-forward centuries of history, to try a sporty hand at a “basketball tree” or a panoramic view at Le Nid roosted on a 32nd floor of a tower and even watch some real fish hanging on a telephone booth.

Watch out ! the green line is around the corner and guides you all along the city, heading from place to place, from cultural spaces to an installation that might leap out at you down some random side street or riverbank between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire.

Follow the green line here

Parc des Chantiers

Résolution des forces en présence is the title of this huge sculpture of Vincenttripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-vincent-mauger Mauger. It looks like a medieval war machine or a kinetic pine cone that plays with differences in perspective and scale when walking around it. One sure thing, its size and volume make it majestic and just as equally frightening.

Quai des Antilles

tripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-bouchain-burenLes anneaux. Daniel Buren and Patrick Bouchain, two of the most famous french visual artist and architect have designed together a serie of 18 rings set along the Loire. At night, the rings light up and reveal the magic of the artwork and another perspective onto the bank, on the way to La Cantine.


La Cantine du Voyage is housed in a collapsible greenhouse and locatedtripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-cantine-du-voyage alongside Daniel Buren’s Les Anneaux on Île de Nantes. This fun and lively restaurant (created for the 2013 edition of Le Voyage) is now on the menu every summer as dressed up by the Nantes-based collective “Appelle-moi papa”. It’s a strategic spot with a large restaurant area, a very long bar, tripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-potager-cantinetable soccer and its own pétanque pool. By the 2016 edition, an organic vegetable garden is now set next door to La Cantine on 900 sqm. producing tomatoes, basil, radishes, zucchinis, cucumbers, …all treats of the starter salad at La Cantine come from here (you may taste the unique single fixed price menu / 10 € at lunch !).


tripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-hab-ange-lecciaHangar à Bananes / Hab galerie La mer allée avec le soleil. Famous video artist Ange Leccia’s work is a multi-screens in a specially-designed structure. Images are weaving a story of water, storms, reworked TV shots, young faces, nature and memorable pop songs …a introspective exhibition that ends naturally with the sea.

The Machines de l’île. No way to miss the Grand Elephant as it walks along the quays of Loire. Born out the brain and imagination of François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice, the Machines feed on the worlds created by Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci and naval and industrial history of Nantes. This fantastic living menagerie is housed in the former ship building house yards and around the three former workshop sheds and boiler house. tripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-machines-de-l'ileThe Gallery is enriched by the productions from the Atelier, a magical wood and steel workshop where everyone can watch the whole creative process. This year, the Atelier has revealed a brand new machine : a giant spider is now stepping out nearby the magnificent Heron Tree, a monumental project taking shape (35m high X 50m large) as two herons are already opening their wings (a couple of visitors can ride them). When totally completed, the birds will fly from branch to branch in an incredible hanging garden. A 20m prototype branch is right now making its way at the entrance  of the workshops while waiting for the final implantation.

Boulevard Léon-Bureau Traverses

This lively and chaotic flow of lines far away from the usaul rectilinar pedestrian passages focuses on the Euclidinian axiom of the shortest distance between two points. But stage director Aurélien Bory in charge of this busy corner, said eventually there is none.


tripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-cours-cambronneCours Cambronne Cours à travers

Within the straight perspective of Cours Cambronne, Pierre-Alexandre Remy shakes up the perspective in questioning space, rythm and our own bodies. Movement centered into his sculpture seems to play apart from the ground. Is it a fly run around Cambronne’s statue ? Let’s say it’s smelling much better !


Château des Ducs de Bretagne

Undercurrenttripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-chateau-hehe-undercurrent. Collective Hehe (Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen) doesn’t shy away from humour when questioning our current use of energy and modes of production. Here, the massive pylone seems to waste time and energy into the narrow basin of the castle moat. Beyond the absurdity of the image, the collective hopes the aesthetic, historical and heritage values upon landmarks over time is a question in itself.

Pledgestripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-chateau-pledges-kalliopi-lemos. Echoing the exhibition Icônes, trésors de réfugiés, set in the Château (built in XVth century on the Loire, it was both a residential palace and a military fortress), Kalliopi Lemos is presenting in its courtyard an allegory for a journey filled with hope and the memories of exiled populations. Abandoned after transporting migrants to the Greek islands, this turkish boat is covered in thousands of tamata or handmade votive offerings that are left in Orthodox churches by migrants to overcome the challenges of an uncertain journey awainting them.

tripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-place-du-bouffayPlace du Bouffay Temps étrangers. This year’s vast renovation of the tramway system has made a bit tricky to feature an artwork in Place du Bouffay. But Julien Berthier plays constructions as part of the city through an oversize mobile suspended to a crane surrounded with containers. The simple round shapes, primary colors, slight pendulum movements and unstable equilibrium are reminiscent of Calder’s own mobiles.


Jardin des plantestripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-potempo-claude-ponti Potempo.

Claude Ponti, the famous illustrator and great children’s writer is invited for the fourth summer in a row to give birth to his dreamlike and cute world along the seven hectares of one of a top five botanical garden in France. It looks like a whipped cream cloud is topping his brand new production, isn’t it ?

tripsuzette-le-voyage-a-nantes-jean-blaiseJean Blaise is involved with cultural programming for over 30 years (among many events around the world, he founded Nuit Blanche in Paris in 2000 and became the director of the “lieu unique” in the ten following years). In Nantes, the amazing city wizard is operating since 1982 and has anchored art in the public spaces. Since 2011, he is the bustling head of Le Voyage. His expertise and vision – recognized beyond the boundaries of Nantes – carry an idea of culture that de-compartmentalises the city. For Le Voyage’s 5th edition, I spoted him in Passage Sainte-Croix, Musée Nomade (awaiting the reopening of Musée des Beaux-Arts for next spring 2017) in front of Claudio Parmiggiani’s boat which carries seven planets, an invitation to make a cosmic and symbolic trip.

NB : the easiest way to discover Le Voyage à Nantes is buying the Pass Nantes, i.e  1, 2 or 3 days pass (25, 35 or 45 €) that offers access to many sites : from Carrousel des Mondes Marins to the Galerie des Machines de l’île, from Château des Ducs de Bretagne to the famous cultural platform of the ‘lieu unique’… local attractions (cruises on the Estuaire, planetarium…) and public transportations (tram, buses…).

On sale at www.nantes-tourisme.com

Shop and chill at Bhering

A kind of secret place mainly known by hip cariocas, the Antiga Fábrica da Bhering was previously a chocolate factory.

Located in Santo Cristo, an industrial neighborhood on a slow path of gentrification (but a taxi is still the safest way to get there !), not so far west from Centro. Nowadays, a community of artists, start-ups and collectives have set up their workshops here, quickly joined by vintage furniture and streetwear stores (M.O.O.C, Velt…) or thrift shops that open on week-end and also some exhibitions. The place is huge, on several storeys, and the atmosphere unique, since the big old machines still remain in abandoned high ceiling spaces …don’t miss the ceramic atelier on the rooftop.

Beyond the old chimney, you’ll step into Feira, the world of art director Kiti Duarte (photo), an amazing concept-store, open everyday, full of home daily purpose items, chemistry flasks, zinc containers, fuzzing plants, rustic table clothes, enamelled tablewear, beautiful horn jewels and vernacular objects and small furniture… Design addicts and compulsive shoppers will appreciate for sure.

Most of the time, a couple of food-trucks are setting deck chairs all around. A groovy spot to chill !

Rua Orestes 28 (Sto Cristo)

FB Fábrica da Bhering

FB Feira na Fábrica da Bhering

Lounging at Lagoa

Time to hang out at Lagoa de Freitas, in Zona Sul, the wealthy residential neighborhood, a few blocks away from Ipanema and Leblon pristine beaches. Although the Cariocas prefer its flat runway for their morning jog on 7.2 kms of bike paths all around (rowing, skating and horse riding are also available), my guilty pleasure remains to sit in Palaphita Kitch, trendy tiki-like spot to enjoy a piña colada in diving my eyes into the silver sparkling waters that shade the Pedra Dois Irmãos at sunset. Down the morro do Cantagalo, Quiosque 20.

tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-lagoa-sunset-2A picture is often worth a thousand words…

tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-lagoa-sunsetBefore that, further west from Leblon beach, you may visit the Instituto Moreira Salles, a flawless modernist house surrounded by gardens also signed by landscape architect Burle Marx – father of iconic b&w organic swirling pattern of Rio’s sidewalks he designed in 1971. tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-moreira-salles-burle-marxNowadays, the place is a great cultural venue through relevant photographic exhibitions.

Rua Marquês de São Vicente 476 (Gávea). http://www.ims.com.br

tripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-moreira-salles-modernistWhile you’re in Leblon, don’t miss to shop at Granado, an fancy old-school pharmacia that sells hip brasilian beauty products (a centenary antiseptic powder, delicious soaps and also some barber’s stuff…). Very nice packaging patterns and mostly organic recipes. Phebo perfumeria is now part of the brand. A much better choice for presents than the very common “bonfim” bahia bracelet (or do buy both ?!)

Rua General Artigas, 470 (Leblon).

In this neighborhood, the casual – and just reopened – option for diner late at night remains Braseira da Gávea, crowded by artists, students and intellectuals who are sharing the same passion for typical picanhas (beef) or linguiças (sausages) with vegetables and farofa (manioc semolina).

Praça Santos Dumont, 116 (Gávea). Tel. +55 21 2239-7494


Harbour of tomorrow

There have been radical changes as the city is engaged in a large urban restructuration plan in the port area since 2009, removing the freeway Perimetral and sprawling turnpikes in favor of up to date transportations including a brand new tram recently commissioned. Known as the business district of RJ, Centro is so busy that you may go straight to the point, directly to Praça Mauá to discover this ambitious harbour area. First step, the Museu de Arte do Rio (Mar), completed here two years ago. Its exhibition “Color of Brasil” is about to open on August 2nd. Icing on the cake, Mar’s rooftop has the best views on Porto Maravilha and onto the state of the art Museu do Amanha, the one of a kind neo-futuristic structure by Catalan architect Santiago Calatrava.

Rio-de-Janeiro-Praça-Maua-Mar-AmanhaNext stop is required for selfies : bet that #CidadeOlimpica hashtag at square’s junction will hit the web very shortly.

Rio-de-Janeiro-Praça-Maua-Cidade-Olimpica-hashtagtripsuzette-riodejaneiro-roadbook-museu-do-amanha-centralYou’ll probably have to queue up at the museum entrance, but the scenography inside is really worth the wait. You may stroll through five different spaces along the 200-meters-long hall and displays, ranging from the origins of the planet to our possible futures (you’ll read all cartels and captions in sweeping your magnetic entrance card on them).

It’s not a conventionnal museum for objetcs -Amanha means tomorrow – but  a museum for ideas, mixing science and art, and heading to think and shape the next 50 years of life on this planet in a sustainable coexistence. Don’t miss the playful Santos Dumont exhibition ; a replica of his plane stands at the front door. Neither the walk around the peculiar construction. With solar wings that bristle, the building attempts to set new standards of sustainability for the city, using 40% less energy, but powered from the sun and the deep water cooling system taping at nearby Porto Maravilha.

Plaça Mauá

www.museudeartedorio.org.br Open 12pm-7pm Tuesday-Sunday. Entry R$10 or free on Tuesdays.

www.museudoamanha.org.br Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm. Entry R$10 or free admission on Tuesdays.

NB : one unique ticket 16R$ enables to visit both museums.