For the 8th consecutive year, Passage Sainte-Croix has opened its doors to Le Voyage à Nantes. After Alain Séchas, Laurent Pernot and Philippe Ramette, it is now Cécile Beau’s turn to take over its spaces, from the garden to the exhibition rooms and the patio, offering visitors an animistic experience.
Through her sculptures and sound installations, Cécile Beau has built up a body of work that is both minimalist and sensory. Whether she is reconstructing or rearranging fragments of nature, shifting objects or knowledge, she offers us works of art that sit on the edge of what is visible or real. They resist the spectacular and often refer to natural phenomena possessing a temporality that supersedes human perception. For Réversion, she used everyday minerals and plants as her raw materials, suggesting a new perspective on our usual perceptions. This set of stones, trees, a cave, and a well offer an opportunity to listen and contemplate.
In the former cloister, an ur-garden is created by a combination of different trees taken from biblical references (almond tree, olive tree, apple tree...). At the centre of this tiny forest, a throbbing sound – somewhere between purred breathing and telluric rumbling – rises out of a rock. A little further, the roots of a bare tree spread out across the ground while an invisible drop echoes deep inside the well.
Out of a nearby cavity, a blast of air rustles and fluctuates, revealing a cave’s sonic topography. Across from it, three aquariums reverse the traditional process of transforming native ore into an industrial material. Here, lead, copper and silver seemingly grow through a little-known alchemical process called reversion.
Resonating with religious and medieval symbols, this exhibition at Passage Sainte Croix reveals the myriad ways in with matter can mutate into autonomous specimens.
Cécile Beau was born in 1978. She works and lives in Paris.
© Martin Argyroglo