The southern shore of the English Channel was once the frontline of Hitler’s Festung Europa – “Fortress Europe” – and as such was dotted with enormous concrete bunkers and blockhouses meant to shelter soldiers and heavy guns aimed at anyone fearless or foolhardy enough to invade. Well, we know how that all turned out. Decades later, most of the threatening infrastructure has been removed, save for the odd abandoned bunker… one of which has squatted on the beach at Siouville-Hague, near the tip of the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy, for the last 70 years.
As the bunker had no other possible or practical use, French artist Cécé decided this one-time symbol of aggression should be put to some other, more positive purpose: defending the environment of his native land, France. “The basic idea was to revitalize an abandoned place full of history: a World War II blockhouse, collapsed, almost lying on its side,” explains the artist. “At first it was about to humanize this place with some poetry : before, the eye of the soldiers were watching the dead coming from the sea, and now there is this big blue eye, looking at the life coming from the waves’ movement, questions and answers, interactions of two creations coming from man and nature. And then, also, I’ve wanted to point out the damage that may make human at some sites into the pupil, the silhouette of the nuclear power plant at La Hague.”