Manon - Spirits of the Huveaune

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Date: 2013
Ref: 7003
Materials: Aluminium, polychrome
Dimensions: 175 x 80 x 80cm, on arch 200cm high, (3 + 2AP)
Exhibition history: Îlot des Berges Park, Aubagne, Marseille
Courtesy: The Artists, the Nouveaux Commanditaires, Bureau de Competences and Rives & Cultures Marseille

The Chemin des Fées is a parcours of five public sculptures Spirits that map the presence of the Huveaune, a coastal river in eastern Provence that originates in the massif of Sainte Baume and flows into the Mediterranean Sea at Marseille. These spirits, genii loci, invest five locations along the riverbanks and weave an unprecedented link between the past and the present. They invite visitors to discover a 30km trail along the Huveaune valley and new ways to explore the river. Drawings from historical texts, legends and stories surounding the foundation of Marsillia, the ancient port of Marseille the myths recount the strong feminine presence associated with the valley of the Huveaune. Spirits of the Huveaune refer to the universal water cycle and raise public awareness of environmental issues related to the river’s fate, questioning water management in the future, here as elsewhere.

For Manon La fée des berges, the Marcel Pagnol character, water is an instrument of power. To avenge the wrongful death of her father, Manon plugs the spring supplying water to the fictional town of Bastides Blanches, near Aubagne, before returning it to the villagers in a gesture of reconciliation. Passionate about justice and freedom, Lucy + Jorge Orta’s Manon appears determined. She symbolises commitment and, in the water cycle, she represents the trickling that inevitably leads water from its source to the sea.

Manon La fée des berges was inaugurated on April 6, 2013 at the Îlot des Berges Park, Aubagne.