Festival : Un été au Havre

During the summer season, Le Havre organizes its art festival throughout the harbor city. Four months of festivities, serving a former martyr city that this year celebrates the 500 years of its foundation and, more broadly, its rebirth since the destruction known during the Second World War.

Besides the appointment of his mayor at the head of the government, you may continue to hear about Le Havre. 2017 is and will be the year of the city with a thousand chimneys, whose history begins in the Renaissance before knowing the pangs of the Second World War and the sad fate reserved for the French military cities. Le Havre, LH for the intimates, is largely bombed and amputated from a large part of its territory. No less than 133 hectares leave in dust. It was without counting on the intervention of Auguste Perret from 1945 to 1965 which makes it a field of constructive and urban experiments. The architect then forms a large part of today's Havre, with its orthonormal plan, its bars and its reduced-scale reinforced concrete towers. Long unpopular for its gray buildings, the port city is finally classified in 2005 to the World Heritage of Unesco, allowing Le Havre to finally take its revenge on the History.


The festival "Un été au Havre", led by Jean Blaise - best known for the realization of the Voyage à Nantes, offers an opportunity to explore the city through four paths marked by artistic and architectural works. The rallying point is the Volcano, Directed by the Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer in 1982. A unique opportunity to see the Océance door in a new light, through a multitude of interventions, such as Altoviseur From the artist Julien Berthier, a giant dented rear view mirror 7,5 meters by 2,3 positioned above the station. This distorted mirror offers a new perspective on the city "For often seeing the skyline is seen as a privilege of affluent people", Delivers its author. The visitor thus discovers an unprecedented panorama on the roofs and the open sea. Éric Baudet, communication director of the Tourist Office and a connoisseur of his city, added that in 1944, after the bombing, from this same point of view we could see the beach - now unsuspected!
This same waterfront is also the place chosen by the Swiss Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann to install UP # 3, A white monumental wooden ark that originally had to be positioned on the roof of a Perret building, finally considered too small by the duo.

Facing the ocean, the MuMa, a modern art museum with an aluminum louvre by Jean Prouvé, presents a retrospective devoted to the hand-retouched photographs of the couple Pierre et Gilles, one of whom is a native of the region . Further, between artistic and urban intervention, the gigantism of the work of Vincent Ganivet, crossing two monumental arches of 36 colored containers, Love Love, Pays an obvious tribute to the port and industrial history of Le Havre.

The festival is also an opportunity to reinvent the built heritage of LH, with an aerial installation Accumulation of power Of Chiharu Shiota, composed of red threads stretched between arches, arranged under the bell-tower of the Church of St. Joseph realized by Auguste Perret. Further north of the city, the fallow of the Fort de Tourneville, an exhibition, concert and strolling place open 7 / 7 days, is reinvested by the architects Bettinger-Desplanques and the collectives the Bruit du Frigo and ETC, which Have created a multipurpose hall, a garden and a sheepfold.

"It's at the end of the world under the cliff / Where the Seine makes love to the sea / Come ... go see it / In Le Havre, in Normandy / It was a martyr city but it's over / Ooh ... even the concrete is beautiful. "  Catherine Ringer, singer.

The event that brings together architecture, urbanism, industry and art, will end on the 8 October, the anniversary of the founding of the city by François 1er in 1517. Finally, let's finish on these few lines of the song of the singer Catherine Ringer, ex Rita Mitsouko, specially composed on this occasion: "When you get there you get a little scared / Then when you leave you cry".

01) Karen Martens, Colors on the beach © Ville du Havre / Breard Philippe
02 and 03) Vincent Ganivet, Container catena © City of Le Havre / Erik Levilly
04) Chiharu Shiota, Accumulation of power © Ville du Havre / Laurent Bréard
05) Lang & Baumann, UP # 3 © Ville du Havre
06) Julien Berthier, Love Love © City of Le Havre / Erik Levilly
07) Baptiste Debombourg, Ghost gardens © City of Le Havre / Erik Levilly

To learn more, visit The site of Un été au Havre

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