Public commission carried out with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication – Delegation of fine arts / Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs of Lorraine.

The U4 blast furnace park, which became the property of the Agglomeration Community of Val de Fensch in 2005, has been the subject of various work campaigns to allow its partial reopening to the public and the lighting of the blast furnace. in the fall of 2007 by Claude Lévêque, internationally renowned artist.

A contemporary work of art

In a State – Region – Department – Agglomeration Community partnership, a public order was carried out by Claude Lévêque in October 2007: it aims, through the highlighting of an industrial heritage, to restore it to a new and questioning dimension. everyone's imagination. By this glow, evoking the life of the blast furnace, Claude Lévêque here pays homage to the steel industry and to workers' memory. By transcending, thanks to a “nocturnal MultiVision”, this steel infrastructure, it shows its history inscribed, once again, in the present.

The objective of this lasting lighting is the inscription of the Uckange blast furnace as a strong symbol, as an industrial heritage of Lorraine and France, but also as a "totemized" object. The artistic intervention acts as an indicator of the architecture of the iron and steel heritage site of the U4 blast furnace in Uckange, but also of the urban context in which it is located. The walkways of the path allow visitors a dual approach, day and night. During the day, the visit allows them to learn about the operation of the factory and the history of the men and women who worked there. At night, visitors can admire the work of Claude Lévêque.

An internationally renowned artist

Claude Lévêque was born in 1953 in Nevers. He lives and works in Montreuil (93) and Pèteloup (58).

The artist sees art as a reflection of society, a traditional approach. The themes and the materials he works on are very contemporary. He looks without complacency on the world around him and does not seek to deny or embellish reality: he witnesses it and imposes it on the viewer, who then also becomes an actor. Close to alternative cultures, his work is based on the use of image, sound and light. He exhibited in France from 1982, before Europe, America and Asia and he is regularly invited for contemporary art biennials.

His work has already been shown in numerous French and foreign art centers. In March 2008, the Kamel Mennour gallery devoted a solo exhibition to him: “Welcome to suicide park” while many places - from Paris to Seoul, via Rouen, Toulouse and Béthune - regularly present his work. After consultation with the professional council (made up of Fabrice Hergott, curator of the Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, Nathalie Ergino, Director of the Institut d'art contemporain and FRAC Rhône / Alpes, Villeurbanne, Olivier Zahm, critic and curator independent, Laurent Le Bon, Director of the Center Pompidou in Metz) and in consultation with the Delegate for Plastic Arts (Ministry of Culture and Communication), the director of CULTURESFRANCE has chosen to propose Claude Lévêque as an artist for the French Pavilion of the 53rd Venice International Contemporary Art Biennale in 2009.

Claude Lévêque has chosen as curator Christian Bernard, Director of the Mamco (Museum of modern and contemporary art in Geneva). The latter conceived and implemented this new type of institution, inaugurated in September 1994. Previously, he directed the Villa Arson in Nice from 1986 to 1994. The Venice Biennale is a manifestation of contemporary art. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious artistic events in Europe, and even in the world. It is also one of the oldest since it was created in 1895, and its first edition took place two years later.