2023 edition
Terrasse de la Cigale
Le temps d’une Pause - Statue du général Cambronne
Olivier Texier

Statue created by Maya ENEVA and the Cellule B team, sculptors in Nantes

Public statues can be found everywhere in our fair city. Whether they’re standing tall in squares, parks, or on top of public buildings, they watch us and communicate the messages and values their makers had imbued them with. But what would happen if they left their pedestals and shook up the town?

Olivier Texier devotes his time to drawing absurd illustrations and comics filled with bizarre and unreasonable characters. Armed with only a pencil and a battalion of sculptors, he plays a game of “copying” some of our statues to a life-size scale of 1:1, thus freeing Generals Cambronne and Mellinet from their martial posturing. He also offers the feminine allegories of Nantes and the Loire a chance to come down from their monumental fountain in Place Royale and discover a city and river they’ve been embodying for nearly 160 years.

Statue du général Cambronne (1847), cours Cambronne

Debay, 1847, bronze, fondery: Quesnel — Paris

In the centre of a courtyard that now bears his name (after many names have come and gone with whatever political regime was in place: “Cours de la République”, “Cours Impérial” or “Cours Henri IV”…) this statue of General Cambronne represents the grand homme in his uniform as an Imperial Guard officer. The general clasps a sword in his right hand and a flag staff with an eagle in the other (underlining Cambronne’s loyalty to the Empire) while stepping over a broken canon and charging towards the enemy with fierce determination.

Olivier Texier was born in 1972 in Nantes, where he lives and works. He has collaborated with almost all French-language graphic novel publishers, from Les Requins Marteaux to Delcourt, by way of Cornélius and Le Dernier Cri.