Following three seasons of exhibitions co-organised respectively with the Centre Pompidou-Metz, 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine, Metz (Lorraine regional fund for contemporary art) and La Synagogue de Delme – Centre for Contemporary Art, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès presents a solo exhibition by artist Patrick Neu entitled “Manège (Carousel)”, at La Grande Place, Musée du Cristal Saint-Louis, Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche.
In the light-filled, fairytale atmosphere of La Grande Place, Musée du Cristal Saint-Louis, French, Italian and Japanese chivalry meets in a startling, chaotic collision. Three horses, two suits of armour and a glass instil in us a sense of the delicate play of opposites in which they partake by the very nature of their raw materials: crystal and wax. A confrontation of dark and light, fragility and hardness, purity and technical complexity.
In this carousel, devised by Patrick Neu – an inspirational artist and the Cristallerie’s head of creative design – the endless cavalcade, round and around, becomes a symbol of rebirth and infinity, like the exhibition itself, which will evolve over a period of months. New horses will join the intoxicating dance in the round, its wonders taking us to back to childhood memories and joys. The spiral visitor itinerary, defined by the architecture of the museum itself, gives the public the impression that the carousel has been set in motion. Suddenly, a suit of armour lying on the floor alters our perspective and creates a surprise. Here, the artist invites us to take on a new role, get on our high horses and ride out in pursuit of our childhood dreams.
To create “Manège (Carousel)”, Patrick Neu has worked with artisans at the Cristallerie Saint-Louis to shape the bodies of the crystal horses, based on figures from an actual fairground carousel. The suits of armour take their expressive power from original models, too. A return to authenticity, sources, skills and expertise.