Exhibition 14-03>28-04

Galerie Gastaud

4/7 rue du Terrail

63000 Clermont-Ferrand

Tuesday to Saturday 2pm-7pm

See the map


Bertrand GADENNE (France)

Le Renard (The fox) (2012-2013)

Video installation - Color, silent - Varied dimensions

Starting at 6 p.m. each evening, a video-projection in the urban space on a window of the Galerie Claire Gastaud.

We are taking a stroll in the streets of Clermont-Ferrand at night. In an alleyway, we catch a glimpse of the fleeting appearance of a fox wandering in the window of a store. Its presence is furtive and we must heed its arrival. It moves rapidly from one side to the other, or comes from inside the darkened gallery to disappear off to the side. Sometimes it observes us for a few seconds as if it was paying attention to our reaction. We have the impression that it could appear suddenly in the urban space, perhaps behind us or farther off lurking somewhere in the city. Of this nocturnal intrusion, animality suggests that our identity, as well as that of the fox, lights each other, like the mirror of our urban experience. Our nocturnal movement is a context that plunges us into a fictional world between dream and reality. The city becomes the strange theater of an animal appearance.

Our wandering thoughts start a semantic, psychological, and anthropological game with the animal’s world. Our behavior and our thinking accompany the fox in its incessant quest. What is he looking for? Where is he going? Where is he coming from? We then look at the animal with our imagination and our symbolic investment. Humanity can exist without animality and remains the matrix of our dreams, our nightmares, and our future steering an urban metamorphosis.

L'eau (Water) (2011)

Video installation
Color, silent
300x200x150 cm

We find ourselves in the darkness of the place. As if by magic, we notice water standing vertically in the middle of the room, with its incessant rhythm of waves visible on its surface. This aquatic element is contained in a cube-shaped box. Water is found inside this volume, but yet does not run onto the floor. No flood on the floor, but a mass of water maintained vertically that defies the laws of gravity. It’s a miraculous vision and the situation is a moment of contemplation. Our regard dives into this image of aquatic thickness, like a deep, liquid image. We notice the reflection of tree leaves on the surface of this fragment of water, a fragile, fleeting, and elusive image of a reality situated off-camera. The appearance of this event keeps its mystery. The moment becomes evanescent and pictorial. In front of us and as if in suspension, this fragment of water is also a fragment of a landscape, between an abstract and figurative form.

Bertrand Gadenne was born in Proverville/France in 1951. He studied at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Nancy. He teaches at Dunkerque and lives at Roubaix in Northern France.

Bertrand Gadenne uses video and slide projections in installation environments to explore the fictional perception of the image and works in public spaces to create strange and intriguing night-time apparitions. His work explores different categories of representation of the natural world : animal, vegetal, mineral and human.

He poses questions on the projection of video images by studying the representation of the world in relation to the architectural characterisation of the projection site.

Bertrand Gadenne’work resulted in the giant projection of an animal on the sides of buildings and in a shop window in a street. He developed several night scene video projections at different sites in the city centre. Looming in the dark, it is a wondrous apparition-nature outsized and displaying all its predatory menace and beauty. Gadenne’s work reminds us of the dominance of nature and the fragile presence of human culture in this remote area. The absurdist dimensions of the work bring it into the realm of the everyday.