Le vaisseau spatial/The
à Flots - visualisation by David Durand for B O L D
: sculpture monumentale en forme de vaisseau spatial, positionnée
au-dessus de l'eau ou sur les berges de Garonne. La sculpture fait
15 mètres de diamètre. Elle est construite en inox
et intègre des matériaux de récupération
d'une épave de Garonne (extraction effectuée par Bordeaux Métropole, rive droite, ponton Yves
Parlier, novembre 2013).
: Grand Port de Bordeaux, commune, DRAC (Bâtiments de France)
: espace public
: nettoyage annuel (convention Bordeaux Métropole / commune / Grand Port de Bordeaux)
the invitation by Bordeaux Metropole I had been to Bordeaux only once, in 2009,
to take part in the exhibition, 'Insiders - pratiques, usages, savoir-faire'
at CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art. During this visit I made a trip
to the Base sous-marine, the German submarine base, constructed during the German occupation in the Second World War primarily by Spanish prisoners of war, which stayed in my mind.
In 2013, during the organised boat trip along the Garonne I
was struck to hear of the existence of so many ships from
the Second World War which were still submerged in the Garonne and
to actually see the remains of some of them protruding above the
the trip to the German bunker near Soulac I again I felt the proximity
of Second World War histories within the psychology of the city,
as if the memories were just under the surface of the water, like
the war boats, always prepared to re-emerge.
also connects to my family history, because my father who studied at
the School of Political Science in Paris in the 1930s became an
operative in the French Resistance in the Second World War – in both
the occupied and unoccupied zones - and I am very interested in the
history of the occupation, the memories of crimes of both the occupiers
and the occupied.
about the idea of removing one of these warships from the Garonne
river and transforming it into something else, as in an alchemical
process, the transformation of one thing into another, to embody
a physical process of change in the city. So I had the idea of transforming it into a spaceship.
one of these decaying Second World War vessels being transformed - many
decades after the German defeat - into a luminous spaceship, deriving from but no longer a war vessel, lifting history and transforming it into the present day and towards a hypothetical future, as a reminder of war and conflict but also as an encouragement towards a different type of future, a future to be imagined and constructed.
Spaceships, both real, e.g. in terms of the US/Soviet space race, and as imagined in science fiction, embody fantasies of advancing technologies, technologies whose power can be utilised both in peacetime and for purposes of war and destruction, and these ideas are inevitably embedded in the sculpture, to act as a reminder of both the positive and potentially disastrous consequences of advances in science and technology.
A spaceship, as a technological 'sci-fi' imaginary object, a manifestation of the fantasies of technology - and connected in its embrace of technology to the technological drives to save Bordeaux from the sea - can also signify the exhilaration and possibilities of change, speed and space, the space of the universe, outer space and can act to encourage thinking about a bigger picture beyond everyday life. It can also be an alluring image for teenagers thinking about what their future goals might be.