Glass at IEA Nantes


The Institute for Advanced Study (IEA) in Nantes is an exception in the French and international research landscape. Located at the confluence of the rivers Loire and the Erdre, the IEA hosts a new group of human and social sciences researchers from all over the world every year. In its premises cradled by the ebb and the flow of the Loire, it facilitates a dialogue of excellence free from economic and political demands.

The glass work ‘Ce que JEAN pense’ (‘What I think of it’, also hear ‘what the IEA of Nantes does think’) has been conceived to salute this exceptional place, and to crystalize, in the form of a luminous installation, its mission: to think outside institutional and cognitive frames, to propose new insights towards the challenges of our society and to encourage the audacity and the serendipity as driving forces for the reflection.

Thanks to its materials and its colours, the glass relates to the architectural identity of the IEA-MSH building. Its architectural identity is unique because of its colourful façade, and yet blends well with the urban landscape due to its chromatic proximity to the Saint-Félix lock. The installation aims to enhance the value of the technical gesture and the nobility of materials; thus, the work has been assembled following to the traditional lead technique. Moreover, the stained glass contains hand-blown glasses of the ‘Living Heritage’ factory of Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert (label ‘Patrimoine Vivant’), and its lines are enhanced by a raw iron frame.

The stained-glass brings intense light to the immaculate hall of the IEA-MSH. It is becoming alive thanks to the flow of the Loire and the Erdre.

Technical details
Title of the art work : ‘Ce que JEAN pense’
Dimensions : 58 x 225 cm
Materials: Glass (especially hand-blown glasses from Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert and Uroboros glasses), lead, raw iron frame. Creation and realisation of the stained-glass: Sara Keller. Creation of the frame and building up by the art metalworker Kallan Mounès.
Creation : 2017; Installation at the IEA: 7 November 2017, inauguration on 9 November 2017 by the Director of the Institute of Advanced Research in Nantes, Samuel Jubé.

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