find seven works of metro art

Freezing cold haunts the Courrouze business district, in Saint-Jacques-de-Lande (Ille-et-Vilaine), southwest of Rennes. A few passers-by gathered under the bus stop, near the relay car park and the end of the new metro line. A man, alone, walks to the foot of a gray concrete building.

The electronic cigarette in his hand, he looked up at the white vapor cloud at the sculptural four steel modules, with bright colors. “I have always been interested in other visions of the world, look at this bus driver. Here, there are people alive, moving. Good thing there’s art. »

Title RoundThis creation by British artist Philip King is one of seven works of art selected by Rennes Métropole for the opening of the new metro line B, in September 2022. Two million artistic commission, on a 1.3 billion euro construction site.

“This is a proactive policy, which does not fall under the cultural 1% framework – not mandatory for transport infrastructure, but in the old tradition of cities being driven in the 1980s”, explains Antoine Chaudet, visual arts project manager for the community.

Minimal communication to preserve inventions

The latter has refrained from any major communications operations around six works (the seventh will be installed in 2023). Therefore, residents find them when they travel. At Gares station, here it is Morvarc’h, the two-headed horse of Jean-Marie Appriou. Installed in June 2021 in front of the SNCF station, it is the mount of Gradlon, the legendary king of Brittany, who has the gift of walking on water.

Florence, 65, took the picture on her cell phone to show her family. “This horse is tired, he needs a short rest after a long journey. VSnot reallyan invitation to travel! », he exclaimed. He asked about the price. Each piece costs an average of €300,000, including study and development work. He sighed: “€300,000! That’s too much! “.

The cold air interrupted the conversation. Back to the automatic train. The following works were installed in the tunnel, between stations Saint-Germain and Sainte-Anne. Three LED screens measuring one by ten meters show video footage of animals in motion. The picture is fleeting: the train is traveling at 90 km/h.

“The artist, Charles de Meaux, reinterprets cave parietal art”, comments Antoine Chaudet. Be warned by junction, Sophie, 29, began to peer into the darkness. A doe appears. “Already finished? he asked. That’s fine, but goes fast. I will tell my colleagues about it! »

“It changed, I really like it”

At Sainte-Anne station, Brazilian artist Camila Oliveira Fairclough has created a work in two parts. A red and blue painting near the platform, and a concrete heart of the same color at the entrance. on the phone appointment, referring to a building on the Place Sainte-Anne, which was demolished during the construction of the metro, which featured an advertisement for Dubonnet alcoholic beverages. Famous landmark in Rennes.

“It’s original, it’s changed, I really like it”, slip Nihad, a 17 year old high school student, in front of the mural. Cats and lightning are reminiscent of the graphic style of Cassandre, creator of slogans “Duo, Dubon, Dubonnet”. Richard Leroux, a German teacher at Chateaubriand High School, discovered that the red pillars he walked past every day were actually two colors, and heart-shaped. “That is a good idea, he added. There is a need for art and culture in public spaces. »

On the other side, he sees Valentin Carron’s creation, at the entrance of his establishment, Joliot-Curie station: a Swiss visual artist redesigning a freehand railing. Doubtful lines evoke the tortuous lines of literary texts. None of the dozen or so students I met paid him any attention. “I didn’t even notice, I’m Myrtil, 19, in my second year of vet prep. It’s true that bringing a bit of color to the fore of high school, just isn’t very appetizing. »

“Let your imagination run wild”

At the end of the line, northeast of the city, is Cesson-Viasilva station. In an office building under construction, a giant statue stands opposite the metro air terminal. Swiss visual artist Ugo Rondinone has chosen to represent the human figure in its most ancient form: head, torso, two legs. The blue stone blocks, roughly cut, contrast with the modernity of the surrounding buildings.

“It’s a bit like Mr. Potato Head”, said Emilie, 36, the manager of a nearby restaurant. An orange shoulder bag, Guillaume Lebastard, 49, scattered cement on the pavement. “I was only here today, but I saw him. I don’t think it’s bad, she says. I took some photos, I’ll be back with my camera to take black and white shots. Of course it’s raw, but you have to let your imagination run wild. Look: with sunlight, it seems to distinguish the nose. »

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