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Hervé Audibert, Bernard Moninot

Patrons - Membres du Conseil municipal de la commune de Chatillon s/Seine à l'initiative de Roland Lemaire, adjoint
Mediator - Xavier Douroux
Supporters - Fondation de France, Programme européen Leader II, commune de Châtillon
Châtillon-sur-Seine, 2002

The context

The recent discovery of a collection of ex-votos and fibulas in the Douix spring attest to a votive practice dating back to the Hallstatt period (500 bc). For as yet unknown reasons, fibulas were thrown into the water. This practice was perpetuated until the beginning of the 20th century when it was no longer fibulas but pins that were thrown into the Douix. In order to show off the site to advantage, the patrons wished to bring in an artist whose scheme would be integrated into the Circuit of Lights established in Côte d'Or.

The commission

The first four sculptures are inspired by the forms of different types of brooch: with a single or double disc, an arc spring and with a spiral motif. The fifth sculpture refers to a small oil lamp found at Vertault (Musée archéologique of Châtillon-sur-Seine Collection). Interlinked to a light box by a network of optical fibres, the sculptures light up at nightfall. They become more visible than in daylight, their size being doubled by their own reflections on the surface of the water. However, the luminosity is of low intensity and through this deliberate half-light respects the mysterious character of the place; the letters VSML are visible in the darkness. They refer to a Latin text: VOTUM SOLVIT LIBENS MERITO, which in translation means He has made his wish, willingly as is proper. In winter, the arrangement emphasizes the strange phenomenon of the appearance of mist vapours produced by the difference in temperature between the air and the water. The installation has also led to a revision of the general lighting of the site by Hervé Audibert.

Bernard Moninot

The mediator suggested involving Bernard Moninot whose work has highlighted the ways and means of making the visible apparent (lightness/darkness) since the 1970s. Hervé Audibert would take care of the lighting aspects of Moninot's scheme. A well-known lighting designer in the theatrical field, he has also been responsible for the lighting of various architectural schemes.