Olympic and Paralympic Village

Places Saint-Ouen, Saint-Denis, France
Date 2019-2025

SOLIDEO appointed Manifesto and Gaël Charbau to oversee the artistic direction of the Olympic and Paralympic Village in Saint-Denis and Saint-Ouen.

Following a call for tenders, SOLIDEO entrusted its artistic direction to Manifesto, in collaboration with curator Gaël Charbau (Artistic Director of Nuit Blanche 2018, Bourse Révélations Emerige). Together, Gaël Charbau and Manifesto have created Courants Fertiles (Fertile Currents), a collective narrative that is being developed with current and future residents and artists. It will culminate in a series of perennial artworks in the public spaces of the future district. Courant Fertiles is structured into six chapters and identifies key issues for this forward-thinking district, such as youth, ecology, history, and community life, inviting us to reflect on art in the public space. 

Manifesto is tasked with coordinating the six calls for creation related to Courants Fertiles.

Manifesto has actively participated in this selection process, analyzing the applications and participating in the technical committees and commissions for the four works in the chapters named Racines (Roots), Magie Collective (Collective Magic), Seuils (Thresholds), and Symbiose (Symbiosis), which will be displayed in the public spaces of the district. The calls for creation were launched in 2021 and 2022: Laurent Grasso won the Racines chapter, Le Gentil Garçon Seuils, Isabelle Daëron Symbiose, and Ugo Schiavi Magie Collective.

Manifesto is also collaborating with the real estate developers responsible for constructing the private blocks, ensuring a unified artistic approach throughout the urban development zone (ZAC). This effort encompasses both the calls for creation and the artworks integrated into the private blocks. This mission further strengthens our commitment to using art as a catalyst for urban transformation. In these spaces, eleven works will be created by artists such as Charlotte Vergely, Miguel Chevalier, Nathalie Junod Ponsard, Jan Kopp, Fabien Verschaere, Nadine Schutz, Morgane Tschiember, Julien Serve, and Hippolyte Hentgen, enriching the overarching narrative of Courants Fertiles.

Laurent Grasso, winner of the “Racines” call for creation

The first call for creation, Racines, was won by artist Laurent Grasso in November 2021. Inspired by the history of the cities of Saint-Denis and Saint-Ouen, the artist has imagined Les Racines du futur (The roots of the future), which focuses on a motif of paired flowers, chosen for their symbolic connection with the history of the area. The flowers will be presented as fifteen small sculptures: these bronze bas-reliefs will be displayed in the public space of Rue Ampère, aiming to build a bridge between the area’s history and its future.

Ugo Schiavi, winner of the "Collective Magic" call for creation

Within the framework of the Courants Fertiles narrative elaborated by Manifesto and Gaël Charbau for the Société de livraison des ouvrages olympiques (SOLIDEO), the work Euphoria by the artist Ugo Schiavi has been selected to perpetuate the artistic and cultural anchorage of the Athletes' Village long after the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Ugo Schiavi's mural will be based on the participation of the local community, echoing the tradition of the figurative frescoes of the Games while encouraging the transmission and appropriation of these new places by the inhabitants and future users of the district. With Euphoria, the artist will represent a scene of collective celebration leading to a general euphoria.

Isabelle Daëron, winner of the “Symbiose” call for creation

Artist Isabelle Daëron created Topique-vent: Anémochorie for the “Symbiose” chapter of Courants Fertiles. Located on the Promenade Césaria Evora in Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, the work consists of four stone spheres sculpted by the breeze’s “ripple marks”. Isabelle Daëron was inspired by the wind, by living beings and by nature’s temporality to create this work, which will gradually become shrouded in vegetation. In this manner, Topique-vent: Anémochorie embraces the time and space of this rapidly changing neighborhood and adapts to its current and future population.

Le Gentil Garçon, winner of the “Seuils” call for creation

Located on the banks of the Seine, the work Les Sphères Armillaires by artist Le Gentil Garçon is part of the “Seuils” chapter of the Courants Fertiles narrative. The work is composed of nine models representing armillary spheres— these ancient astronomical instruments were used to represent the movement of the stars. This work is directly inspired by the Olympic rings and the Paris 2024 Games. Using a QR code, passers-by can access a film that animates the sculptures and even contribute with their own videos.

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