2023 edition
Rue des 2 ponts
Le temps d’une Pause - Statue du général Mellinet
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.

Le Temps d une Pause. Esquisses

Statue du général Mellinet (1898), place Mellinet

Laurent-Honoré Marqueste, Bronze, Foundry: Leblanc-Barbedienne

In the centre of Place Mellinet, formerly Place Launay, stands the statue of General Mellinet. Mellinet, who served no fewer than three different political regimes, is depicted standing bareheaded in a martial pose: with an energetic movement, he points out “the enemy” with his outstretched left arm.

In his right hand, he is holding his sword firmly; reminiscent of the student initiatives at the Royal Fountain, the sword was never returned after it was lost and repeatedly replaced.

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.