Le Voyage à Nantes

12 kilometres, with over 50 works linked together by a green line: the Voyage à Nantes has been part of Nantes’ cultural landscape since 2012. Every summer, the course is reactivated and enhanced, to give Nantes and its surroundings a new and intriguing facelift. The seventh year of the Voyage à Nantes will take place from 6 July to 1 September 2019. Here’s a sneak preview.

Along a green line on the ground, the Voyage à Nantes leads visitors from works of art at the bend of a street to striking elements of city heritage, from destination must-sees to unknown treasures, from historic alleyways to contemporary architecture, and from an amazing city view to an amazing sunset over the estuary. Throughout the summer, around 40 ‘stages’ create a poetic tour of Nantes.

Walk from nest to nest with Tadashi Kawamata

The kickoff of the 2019 edition is marked by the ‘Night of the VAN’ (Voyage à Nantes for close friends) – Saturday 6 July from 6pm. For a few hours, the Yodel collective takes the stage and offers curious visitors the chance to look at each step. Museums with free entry and night openings, friendly gatherings and concerts are also scheduled for this inaugural night.

Among the novelties for 2019 is Tadashi Kawamata’s ‘Belvedere de l’Hermitage’, installed at Butte Sainte-Anne. Visitors will step onto a wooden footbridge that appears to be set on a swallows’ nest – and get the feeling of jumping into the void as they experience a new perspective on the sky and the river.

Observant visitors will also notice Kawamata’s ‘nests’ on the facades of iconic buildings across the city, temporary sculptures evoking the shape of a nest that bring poetry to urban strolls.

On street corners, don’t miss Stéphane Vigny’s quirky signs. For 2019, two new institutions from Nantes have joined the Mirer project: the Katorza cinema will be adorned with the silhouette of famous actor Buster Keaton, while the Falbalas Saint-Junien millinery, the oldest store in Nantes, will be wearing an amazing green hat.

Art at the hotels

Nantes’ hotels are also playing the game with the temporary ‘Hotels et Faunes’ trail from videographer Pierrick Sorin, whose small optical theatres can be experienced at eight establishments across the city. The artist is staged in holographic skits related to the universe of each hotel.

The Artists’ Chambers programme is expanding with the creation of three new works by Makiko Furmichi, Justin Weiler and Karina Bisch, to be exhibited at the Hôtel Amiral, Hôtel de France and houseboat Le D’Oh respectively.

The Voyage à Nantes also extends outside the city limits, into the vineyards from Nantes to Clisson, and along the ‘Course Estuaire’ which offers cruises from Nantes to the port of Saint-Nazaire. During the crossing, you can admire works by international artists creating a dialogue with the landscape.

This year’s new additions will not outshine the Voyage à Nantes’ permanent works, some of which have become real emblems of Nantes – these include Paysage Glissé, the toboggan at the Chateau of the Dukes of Brittany, and Les Anneaux by Daniel Buren and Patrick Bouchain at the Quai des Antilles.

Nantes, Atlantic Loire Valley