Photo : Les Baigneurs © Yvan Clédat
Bathers (Les Baigneurs)
Clédat et Petitpierre
(France, Switzerland)
Incredible living sculptures in pleated tulle
Artists and performers Clédat & Petitpierre continue their series of living, inhabited sculptures - “Ermitologies”. Inspired by Picasso’s Baigneuses au ballon, they will create an installation in public space, featuring two huge dolls in striped swimsuits, with blue towels and a yellow ball. It’s a magical and poetic sight.

After working in Rennes last year at La Criée centre for contemporary art and for La Parade Moderne (Les Tombées de la Nuit), artists and performers Yvan Clédat and Coco Petitpierre continue their series of “Ermitologies”, with performances developed on the basis of their sculptures. The installations are inhabited by artists to become sets or costumes, forging a new physical relationship between contemporary art, the performing arts and public space. Inspired by Picasso’s Baigneuses au ballon (1928), Bathers features two large dolls wearing striped swimsuits, in a primal and childish depiction of the seaside in the heart of the city centre.

Clédat & Petitpierre’s costume world is chock-a-block with hybrid creatures and artistic nuggets, with sculptural creations that recall the real world by displacing the challenges and constraints of contemporary art. This series of performances (entitled Ermitologies) has been developed from their clothing sculptures – neither objects nor puppets – and takes into account the physical limitations of these packages. In a recent interview for the Libération newspaper, Coco Petitpierre explained that, “we started by physically working on our “things” to develop our research into sculptures and living beings. We were not actors and didn’t know how to move. So we wrapped ourselves up in these restrictive costumes.” The “Ermitologies” by these two artists and performers are neither human nor cuddly teddy bears, and instead offer images and rituals that give a poetic twist on everyday life.

Bathers was created for the Plouf exhibition on Lake Geneva, for which Clédat & Petitpierre came up with a pair of large dolls with striped swimsuits, two blue towels and a yellow ball, made entirely from pleated tulle. The two “living sculptures” slowly come alive to create typical bathing postures in a quirky use of public space, recalling leisure and games in this primal, childish depiction of the sun and sea. It is quite simply magic.


Yvan Clédat and Coco Petitpierre form a close-knit artistic couple. They were both born in 1966 and met in 1986. These sculptors, performers and directors explore exhibition and stage space through fun and multi-faceted performances, which often play with the artists’ bodies. With Ermitologie, Grip, Bataille, Les mariés même, Abysse, Funny game, Edenique, Helvet Underground and dozens of other smaller visual pieces, performances, dances and other living sculptures, Clédat & Petitpierre are very active in the world of visual artistic performance. Their work is presented in art centres, museums, theatres and at festivals in France, Europe and beyond (Japan, Korea, Columbia, Singapore, etc.). In addition to their joint artistic activity, they work together or separately as costume and set designers with numerous directors and choreographers.


Design & performance : Yvan Clédat et Coco Petitpierre.

Saturday 07 July 2018
16:00 > 19:00
Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle, Rennes
Sunday 08 July 2018
15:00 > 18:00
Parc du Thabor, Rennes

Métro/bus/vélo : République - Ligne de bus : toutes les lignes desservant le centre ville & Métro : Sainte-Anne / Bus : C1-C3-C5-9-12 / Arrêt de Bus : Thabor - Sainte-Anne / Vélo : Saint-Georges - Place Hoche
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The association is supported by the City of Rennes, the Brittany Region, the Ille-et-Vilaine Department & the ministry of culture.

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