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L'INDUSTRIE... ET APRÈS?
INDUSTRY... AND AFTERWARDS?

Claire CHEVRIER, Jean-Pierre GILSON, Marc PATAUT,
Bernard PLOSSU, Jorge RIBALTA, Michel SÉMÉNIAKO,
Valentine SOLIGNAC


6/06 -2/09/2018


(closed from 16/07 to 15/08/18)

En français| NL versie


Partnership


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www.crp.photo



This exhibition’s origins lie in the mutual desire to work together of Contretype in Brussels and the Hauts-de-France Regional Photography Centre (CRP/) at Douchy-les-Mines.

As soon as I had been given the assignment to curate an exhibition covering all parts of the CRP/’s vast collection of almost 9,000 images, the question of de-industrialisation quickly moved to the forefront, because not only did many of the images make reference to this problem, but also the CRP/’s home region had been profoundly marked by it; indeed, in my opinion, it gives the CRP/ its specificity.

This approach also involved cross-border similarities, common to the two neighbouring regions of the Hauts-de-France (formerly the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie regions) and Wallonia: an industrial past and a present marked by de-industrialisation. This phenomenon is not restricted to the coal-mining industry in these regions, but extends further, beyond their borders, to all the industries that flourished in Europe in the nineteenth century and that were breathing their last in the 1960s.
The 1980s saw the collapse of jobs in industry, as the effects of foreign competition devastated the European industrial sector, in favour of jobs in commerce and services, a process we call de-industrialisation.

It is this common thread of the dismantling of industry in North-Eastern France and South-Eastern Belgium from the 1980s to today that this exhibition will follow, touching also on representations of a sort of re-industrialisation, in new sectors. Far from concentrating solely on images of the effects of de-industrialisation on the economy and the landscape, the images we have chosen from the CRP/’s collection, by seven photographers, also focus on its effect on people.


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© Marc Pataut, “Humaine”, Marie-Jo Noclain, Douchy-les-Mines, 2011, 69 x 55 cm, coll. CRP/.

Some of the photographers went to stay in the regions while they photographed them. The Spanish photographer Jorge Ribalta thus produced his collection Renaissance. Scenes of industrial conversion in the coal-mining district of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais following a stay in the region in the spring of 2014. Travelling all over the region, he depicted the conversion of many former coal mines into museums, historic monuments or theme parks, showing not only their “heritage-isation” but also the move from an economy based on industry to one based on culture and leisure activities.

It was during a period as a researcher and artist-in-residence in 2010 that Claire Chevrier was able to develop her thoughts on the relationships between places and human activities. Thus, she examines current industrial activity from the angle of the relationships between the human body, tools and designated work spaces.

Valentine Solignac worked in 2015 as an artist-in-residence at Condé-sur-l’Escaut. While there, he created images showing the ways in which the town’s inhabitants make use of it in their daily lives.

Marc Pataut’s portrait collection Human was commissioned by the CRP/ and exhibited and published in book form in 2011. The images are the fruit of his work with four female inhabitants of Douchy-les-Mines, situating their lives in their relationship with the town’s coal-mining past, of which they are heirs.

Jean-Pierre Gilson immortalised the remains of that industrial past in the countryside around Valenciennes in 1984, exactly one hundred years after Zola travelled to the region to research his novel Germinal. The process of de-industrialisation is even more directly evoked in the series of images by Bernard Plossu on the dismantling of the Usinor steelworks.

Finally, Michel Séméniako develops a dreamlike perspective on industrial ruins in a series of images photographed at night in 1990, that not only demonstrate the extraordinary evocative power of photography, but also the resonance of the world of coal-mining as a completely separate culture.

Danielle Leenaerts, Curator
Translation: Chris Bourne

Part of Summer of Photography 2018, a BOZAR initiative


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Portfolio


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Links:

Claire Chevrier

Jean-Pierre Gilson

Marc Pataut

Bernard Plossu

Jorge Ribalta

Michel Séméniako

Valentine Solignac































AVEC L’AIDE DE LA FÉDÉRATION WALLONIE-BRUXELLES,
DE LA COCOF ET DE LA COMMUNE DE SAINT-GILLES.

SUMMER OF PHOTOGRAPHY 2018


7e BIENNALE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE CONTEMPORAINE
#summerofphoto


Every other year BOZAR works with various partner institutions to organise the Summer of Photography, an international biennale for photography and lens-based media with a varied exhibition trail. In doing so, the Summer of Photography creates, across multiple locations in Brussels, a living forum for connoisseurs, enthusiasts and a wider public with an interest in photography. Joining forces with partnering venues, the biennale aims to consolidate Belgium’s place as a major local and international platform for photography.

Partners: Alliance Française Bruxelles-EuropeBotanique, BOZARBrassage photographique (Cinema Galeries et Géopolis ), Centre Culturel Jacques Franck
ContretypeCultuurcentrum Strombeek-Grimbergen, Czech CentreDe Markten, Instituto CamoesMAD, Maps Images, Ministry of Culture Czech RepublicMusée de la Photographie de Charleroi, Royal Museums of FIne Arts Belgium, Workspace BrusselsMuséees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique.