Chris Levine at REBELS: A Homage to Madame Clicquot
Chris Levine’s exquisite laser installation shimmers and uplifts as part of ‘Rebels’: Veuve Clicquot’s fourth annual ‘Widow’ Series. The event explores creative revolutions in British subculture as an ode to the rebellious spirit of Madame Clicquot. The founder of the world renowned Champagne house was a true rebel, traversing gender roles to become one of the first female entrepreneurs! The three day, metaphorical nightclub blends art installation, soundscape, fashion and film, to tell the story of some of Veuve Clicquot’s most extraordinary moments. Levine’s collaborative installation is a tribute to the joy and adventure of mass celebration.
This year's instalment of ‘The Widow’ Series was curated by Tom Kingston and hosted at the Bargehouse on London’s South Bank. Kingston has worked with iconic cultural rebels from Grace Jones and David Bowie to the Rolling Stones, Massive Attack and Lady Gaga. His warehouse party/ experimental art installation hosts explosive collaborations across six unique rooms, with contributions from leading light artist Chris Levine, photographers Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones and set designer Neneh Cherry, among many more.
Together, Chris Levine and Rebecca Louise Law created a sublime and ethereal wildflower meadow: Fields of Dreams. Chris Levine works with light and sound to create meditative spaces in which viewers can heal and recover from the sensory overload of the modern day. His work is informed by philosophy, science astronomy, and spirituality. Here, a sumptuous light show is complemented by the soft and organic bed of preserved flowers, that lift the healing nature of the piece to even greater levels.
Law’s unique technique allows her to chemically preserve flowers, creating flexible and vital plants that give off a powerful aroma. The fantasy meadow was accented with festival infrastructure and cradled in a summer sky created by Chris Levine. Levine used lasers to create a softy shifting summer evening, his understated lasers catching the edges of the flowers and bringing each one to life. The heavenly field was then swathed in a unique soundscape created by Massive Attack. The installation was designed as an ode to mass celebration, shared joy and unity in living life to its fullest, a beautiful tribute to the adventurous spirit of Madame Clicquot.
‘The world is in perpetual motion and we must invent the things of tomorrow’ - Madame Clicquot
Madame Clicquot was a truly extraordinary woman, who has now inspired extraordinary creativity. Her youth was tinged with the violence of the French Revolution. In the new age of the Republic, Clicquot was widowed at the age of 27 and courageously took over her husbands business in 1805. She built the business into a global force and became a technological innovator, crafting crisp and dry champagne as we enjoy it today. Her subversion of gender roles is the inspiration for room Three, where Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones explore gender fluidity in virtual reality. Her freedom is celebrated in Rooms One and Five with a video installation featuring Young Fathers champions self-expression and a reconstruction of the second Summer of Love. The entire event is a bold and extravagant celebration of bravery, creativity and rebellion, totally fitting for the grande dame of champagne.