Pascal Convert — Histoire, Enfance
Past: October 15 → November 30, 2011
Being the child of an important figure is certainly not easy. It is necessary to make, if not a name, at least a first name for oneself. This requires great strength of character but the presence of the father or mother enables a liberating conflict.
But what about the child whose parent disappears in particularly violent and tragic circumstances? At first glance, one might imagine that being the heir of a hero shot during the French Resistance, someone like Gabriel Péri, Georges Politzer, Charles Michels or Pierre Semard, gives a person unquestionable moral and social legitimacy. But this is far from the reality of the solitude that will be theirs. These children of love are also children of death and carry in their arms those two burdens without knowing where to deposit them.
Their stories are, literally, extraordinary. For example, Lucien Dupont’s daughter was born in prison. Her father had been shot a few days before and her mother sent to a concentration camp while she was only a few months old. For a long time, she considered the Resistance as an enemy who took her father, her mother and her childhood from her.
The few photographs chosen among those that survived the disaster have neither the aura of relics nor the melancholic scent of archives. They show bodies still alive, living in spite of everything.
History is sometimes a destructive child and a child who’s born in those periods has the terrible task of going back in time to those dismantled hours.
Next to these images, crystals from obtuse times, found in the battlefields of Verdun: sculptures born of the vitrification of tree stumps.
“A stump is a lot more than the base of a tree… It offers the conditions for a genealogical unfolding, it renders the tree evident, imposes its form of ancestry and lineage. It’s a base of future evolutions, a vital condition of possibilities still unknown. It’s a form… for desire, for anguish, for kinship.”
In La demeure, la souche, Georges Didi-Huberman.
The works of the exhibition will be organised around vital forms aggregating childhood and history in an open constellation: the pattern of hands, loose or alive; a driftwood by Raymond Aubrac, rendered in water’s light; a photograph of Hô Chi Minh sleeping; or enigmatic figures of children frozen into crystal.