Philippe Cotten, a.k.a. Cozten, is an author, director and scenographer who defines himself as an “awakener of sites.” For the past thirty years, the Toulouse-based artist has devoted himself to creating spectacular installations which draw on various disciplines to highlight the architectural and environmental heritage of emblematic sites. He enjoys taking a fresh look at familiar places to reveal their aesthetic, cultural or symbolic qualities. His love of nature and environmental awareness provide a boundless source of inspiration for his art.

By the same artist

Les Cueilleurs de Nuages (2019)

Fourvière Hill, Lyon 5

The starting point for this creation is an invention designed to harvest the water contained in the clouds to solve drought caused by global warming. This magical show follows the adventures of a family of giants collecting clouds to water a glowing flower, a fragile symbol of an endangered species. The public watches them playing with the clouds, trapping them and collecting water in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. Thanks to a combination of light techniques, projections, mapping and a soundtrack by Enzo Izzi, the hill is metamorphosed into a boundless sky filled with clouds that are a precious source of life and inspire our dreams. A poetic interpretation of a natural cycle with a powerful environmental message.

On Sunday, December 8, this display will start at 7.20 pm due to the light show on the Saône.

Théâtr’Eaux (2019)

When you enter the courtyard of City Hall, you are immediately plunged into a mysterious aquatic world. CozTen has taken inspiration from a Breton legend in which the city of Ys, like the lost island of Atlantis, was swallowed up by the sea. Emerald seaweed glistens on the façade while the features of the building are magnified in ocean blue. This undersea expedition is set to music by Enzo Issi under the watchful eye of the stone faces over the windows. At the far end of the courtyard, the fountain is concealed behind a glimmering curtain like the nymphaeum of a sacred spring. The public is invited to walk though this wall of light. The illuminated statues, like extras in a play, usher the visitor out of the sanctuary towards the Opera whose bluish hues gently awaken the visitor from the atmosphere of contemplation.

Artists: CozTen and Enzo Izzi

Sponsored by iGuzzini

Soleil (2016)

Fourvière Hill, Lyon 5

The sky and the elements take possession of Fourvière Hill. From the setting of the sun until the stars and night owls arrive, through to dawn and its characteristic light, it reveals an entirely different face: that of its natural environment. Monumental light installations and subtle and changing lighting create surprise. The way we normally see the hill is transformed ...

View from the Bonaparte Bridge and the banks of the Saône.

Technical support: Layher, L'ETES et de L'YD RESTE

Interiors Gardens (2012)

Nature takes over as night falls, in this flagship building of the new Confluence quarter, lit for the first time as part of the Fête des Lumières. Strange and gigantic plants seem to be growing in the moist atmosphere of an immense tropical greenhouse. They seem to invade the space, absorbing the light, transforming it into a dark green glow. Giant flowers, bursting with bright colour, emerge and open their petals. From outside the building, spectators experience the strength and exuberance of nature. Faced with this power, they appear small and vulnerable. Inside, the spectators are welcomed by a musical performance from the choir and the instrumental ensemble of the Concert de l’Hostel Dieu, under the musical direction of Franck-Emmanuel Comte.

Sun and Moon meet (2010)

These two buildings form the core of an atmospheric, heavenly adventure visible from the left bank of the river Saône. Conjuring up the flooding and storm of 1852, the chevets of the basilica and cathedral are attacked by lightning and rising floodwater respectively. With the lull in the storm, the sun and moon will appear and, in the unchanging cycle of day and night, will cloak the monuments and the hill with their glow which can be bright, soft or light and dark by turns. Using moving and spectacular staging, the show uncovers a hitherto unseen view of the hill situated between the heavens, the earth and the Saône. The artistic choice of lighting, the monumental moon structure and the large-scale stage effects sublimate the architecture of the Saint-Jean cathedral and the Fourvière basilica by giving them a whole new look.