ANGE LECCIA | Ravir la force mais toujours aimer

Hors les murs 25 May 2019 - 31 October 2019

Address : Abbaye de Jumièges | Rue Guillaume le Conquérant, 76480 Jumièges

In Seine-Maritime, the 2019 exhibition at the Centre d’arts visuels de l’Abbaye de Jumièges is entirely devoted to the artist Ange Leccia, who has been given carte blanche to present previously unseen videos. Considered one of the major video artists, light and image combined with the human form constitute the raw material of his artistic work.

A French pioneer of video art since the 1980s, Ange Leccia is known for his visual sculptures resulting from a reflection on the moving image. Most often, these take shape through installations in a game of echoes and references specific to his universe nourished by lights, ghostly female appearances and the marine element. In his creative process, the notion of temporality always proves to be very diffuse for the artist who considers that nothing is fixed.

For Jumièges, the video artist has created six creations around the themes of travel, love and water. Well known, his favourite motifs make him travel from the Mediterranean to the Seine. Under the title Ravir la force mais toujours aimer, the exhibition is scheduled from May 25 to October 31, 2019, nearly 6 months.

As a complement and a few kilometers from the abbey house of Jumièges, the major work entitled La Mer will be presented in Rouen in very large format in the context of the gathering of the Armada’s tall ships. Projected continuously for one hour on the emblematic Tour des Archives de l’Hôtel du Département, a building erected on the banks of the Seine, the video backwash of La Mer will be visible every evening from June 6 to 16.

Ange Leccia uses a bank of images that he retreats in various versions. Thus, La Mer, originally created in 1991, will be presented in Rouen in a completely new version. Originally, the images in this video were filmed using a camera tilted at 90° over a Corsican beach with a single fixed shot mounted in a loop.

In Jumièges, Ange Leccia was also inspired by the site of the abbey. The artist became aware of this river drift carried by the regional legend of the “Enervés de Jumièges” translated artistically at the end of the 19th century by the eponymous painting of Evariste-Vital Luminais. For the record, it is the story of two sons of King Clovis punished by their father for rebellion. In torment, the two teenagers were irritated before being embarked adrift along the meanders of the Seine, aboard a raft. They were finally taken in by one of the monks of the abbey. In Jumièges, Ange Leccia was inspired by this gliding on the waves of teenagers appearing in a mirror.

In the course of his creative process, Ange Leccia was inspired by the words of navigators. From their words, the elements of the sky and the sea emerged as embodying the essential companions of sea crossings. If the sky appears both as a landmark and an anticipatory element of the weather, it also acts as a metaphorical companion and metronome of time, from sunrise to sunset. Another element is the sea, which “the hulls of boats criss-cross and caress like smooth or wrinkled skin” and which we find in the form of sunsets over the Mediterranean. In filigree, feminine faces are superimposed, like landscapes.

To the visual aspect of the videos presented at Jumièges, Ange Leccia adds a sound relief acting in dissonance, made up of endearing songs that have become “hits” and date back to the last 50 years. Produced for the occasion by sound designer Perez, a unique soundtrack to all the videos sends the visitor back to his own dislocated memories, carried by melodies known to all of us, of those we listen to without paying attention to them as they are part of a generational musical landscape and correspond to periods of our lives.

To accompany Ange Leccia’s visual proposal, a poetic work has been realized by a collaboration between the art historian Fabien Danesi and the graphic designer Anna Toussaint.


Exhibition views of Ange Leccia’s solo show Ravir la force mais toujours aimer, Abbaye de Jumièges (25.05.2019 – 31.10.2019). Photos: Coline Jourdan

Vernissage : 25/05/2019 10:00 am

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