The House in the Loire

Creation 2007

Far from the ephemeral theater, here is the dream of a stone house. One of its windows is still open, as if its inhabitants had just left. Subject to the slow swing of the tide, this silent and solitary house, sleepily askew on the muddy water, lies on the banks of Lavau, a town of 729 inhabitants located in the Loire estuary.

Built with moulded concrete, on stilts, this house is a life size replica, down to the last brush stroke, of "the House of the Port" in this ancient busy port in the days when wood and blue granite was ferried to build Saint-Nazaire shipyards.

Now, like an abandoned inn that has hosted its share of travellers, it beckons the passer-by, and is a milestone, a landmark, a sign on his journey, just like a sculpture reflecting past glory. But this house leaves its door open to everyone's imagination. Who will think of the lives of its past guests, of the gulls and other birds come to nest, perhaps ; who will think of their childhood home where the shutters are permanently closed, or of all displaced people forced to pack up in a hurry...

For the first time, Jean-Luc Courcoult ventures on the side of Land Art. It is his response to the commission of Estuary 2007, a contemporary art event initiated by Jean Blaise, director of the Lieu Unique, Nantes. Courcoult is alongside visual artists such as Alain Séchas, Felice Varini, Fabrice Hyber, Erwin Wurm. There are thirty artists, whose works are posted along the forty miles of Loire river between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire

The event also includes exhibitions in the city’s museums. They are showing works by Pierrick Sorin, with whom the Royal de Luxe has sometimes worked, or Anish Kapoor whose work with large volumes of wax, this melting material, may have inspired - who knows - the vision appearance of Xolo, the Aztec dog, in a block of ice at the "Giant of Guadalajara." That’s another story, read on.

We knew Courcoult was a fan of Dali. What he hasn’t told us, because he is a man of few words, is that he looks at art books a lot. Christo, George Segal, Richard Long and Tony Cragg enchant him. And also Frida Kalho, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, which "the Giant of Guadalajara" in Mexico will indicate.


© Jean-Luc COURCOULT. Author and director - Founder of the company Royal de Luxe

The House in the Loire - Selection of the press review

Presse Océan – 16/07/2007 – M Vaillant-Prot

« Une maison réaliste et poétique ».

« Chacun, de la nature ou de l’artiste souligne l’existence de l’autre. La proposition de ‘La Maison dans la Loire’ tient du même concept. Une maison dont les fondations capturées par la vase penchent légèrement. Volets fermés comme une épave inhabitée, bien que la cheminée fume encore. Elle semble aussi solitaire que nous le sommes de temps à autre dans la nature. Image réaliste et poétique, concrète, secrète, silencieuse, cette maison endormie sur la Loire pourrait être un tableau, une peinture, une esquisse en trois dimensions déposée dans le temps, immobile. »


Travelport – 07/2008

« En total [estuario] se trata de más de treinta instalaciones de grandes dimensiones de artistas célebres o que empiezan su carrera artística, todos ellos elegidos por su capacidad para jugar con el espacio público y las dimensiones del estuario. »