Artist, film director

Born in 1953 in Nevers Lives and works in Montreuil and Pèteloup (Nièvre) Claude Lévêque is represented by the Kamel Mennour gallery, Paris. The essence of Claude Lévêque's work consists in installations that articulate objects, sounds and lights taking forceful possession of places and spectators. Since the early eighties, he has developed a world of amazement, halfway between coercion and rapture. A traumatized or nostalgic memory of childhood's wonders, the ambivalence of signs and affects, the rage of desire, revolt at the difficulty of being and world's violence, Lévêque's universe finds its raw material in and focuses its object on destruction. The existential discomfort or anxiety that springs from his staging and the ambiguity of the feelings aroused by his installations symbolize contemporary forms of social control and oppression – servitude, be it voluntary or not. "We want to put an end to this unreal world" proclaims a neon by the artist, in handwriting whose trembling, feverish letters represent the conditions of domination and/or rebellion. This is a phrase by Florence Rey, a fascinating French icon of nihilist violence. This radical statement sets the tone for Lévêque's often dramatic, spectacular and impressive work. Nevertheless it relies solely of the dissymmetrical strength of the weak. Total art and poor art, art of the real in its cruelty and art of dream with its disturbing labyrinths, art of disorientation, between panic and marvel.