Every summer, Le Voyage à Nantes offers a cultural itinerary through the city and tries to become part and parcel of its daily activity. By asking local businesses to allow artists to reinterpret their signage, it involves the active members of the city in a creative process.
Like unexpected apparitions, contributions of several artists disturb the continuum of signs that characterize the downtown streets of Nantes.
In 2014, Quentin Faucompré, Olivier Texier and Pascal Lebrain imagined a series of storefront signs. Gavin Pryke, Le Gentil Garçon and Grégoire Romanet then completed the collection in 2015. For Le Voyage 2016, new projects have been added to the thirty already existing signs:
This illustrator is just as comfortable with a quill or brush as she is with engravings, silk-screening, and risograph printing.
With her hand-painted wooden signs, Laubreaux brings a gallery of characters to life that dangle above the heads of pedestrians. Punning on the names of nearby shops, these characters seem like they could just as well be telling other stories…
In keeping with his work as an illustrator and visual artist, Jérémie Rigaudeau’s signs can be fun and light-hearted, but also biting. Using derision as a weapon, the artist has his fun with both the name of the business and the service being offered, creating signs that often mean the opposite of their original intention! A sheep-counter in a hotel who is far too hyperactive for anyone to sleep peacefully, a bear from a kids’ store threatened by a “goose-fork” who has escaped from a neighbouring high-end grocery store, or even a planisphere where the continents no longer stay in place, renewing our vision of the world…
PLACE SAINT-NICOLAS, RUE DU CHÂTEAU, RUE DU BOUFFAY
VIVA LAS VEGAS !
QUENTIN FAUCOMPRÉ, PASCAL LEBRAIN AND OLIVIER TEXIER
Quentin Faucompré, Pascal Lebrain and Olivier Texier have created an urban adventure with a flashy twist: a treasure hunt in the form of an imaginary city of lights, within-the-city.
Alternating between sculptures or three-dimensional puns, fanciful and fantastic details leap out from the city’s façades to surprise visitors and bring a smile to
their faces. The streets become an allegory for a fairground, a cabinet of curiosity, a mini-Las Vegas, a surrealist painting, or a tiny erotic theatre… and sometimes all of the above!
RUE GUÉPIN, RUE AFFRE, RUE DE VERDUN
LE GENTIL GARÇON
Le Gentil Garçon has come to visit us from Lyon. He has walked through the streets of Nantes and had a good laugh. The boy who likes “to rack his brain in order to untick the boxes of his mind” presents a series of haikus. Like one of Queneau’s “exercises in style” they require both great rigor and relaxation. Shop signs are either revisited according to the store’s purpose, design and (supposed) state of mind, or tell a story by playing with the immediate surroundings. Le Gentil Garçon mixes poetry, surrealism, and slapstick, with just enough pop references to make your stroll a delightful one!
DECRÉ NEIGHBOURHOOD (RUE DE LA PAIX, RUE DES CARMES, RUE DE LA JUIVERIE)
Grégoire Romanet mixes graphic design and scenography to offer passers-by a quirky vision of the town’s street signs. Once removed from their original functions, these mutant placards freely redefine urban codes and inform onlookers of local shopping activity in a narrative language close to what can be found in comics. Each group of signs defines a zone sensible (“sensitive zone”): a concrete, tangible, visual space that is also an invitation to dream and to contemplate.
- What are we to make of this?
- I wonder…
- But, what do these signs mean?
- Whatever we like.
LOOK AT THE INTERACTIVE MAP TO DISCOVER THE SIGNS LOCATION.
FIND ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED ABOUT THE SIGNS PROJET IN THE DEDICATED LEAFLET AVAILABLE FROM JULY 1st IN THE NANTES.TOURISME OFFICES.
SPECIALTHANKS TO ALL PARTICIPATING BUSINESSES, AS WELL AS OWNERS / CO-OPS.
© FRANCK TOMPS