2015, Bapaume FR
With the collaboration of the Bapaume Penitentiary centre, the Penitentiary Integration and Probation Department, the GAEC Tabary’s farm and seven prisoners : Alaitz, Anne-Sophie, Ben, dOdO, Mario, Oihana and Robert
The prisoners were asked to imagine temporary installations in the Hauts-de-France region, using objects and furniture from their cells. The aim was to give them an impression of enlarging their living space and the feeling of existing outside the walls. This project began by consulting touristic maps. They spoke about projects and what they would like to do outside. After deciding on places, objects, scenography and framing together, I then spent alone three days on installations and photographs, following the pre-established protocols. They then chose the photo which best represented their ideas and wrote texts to express the rest.
– small objects
– variable dimension
– duration 3 days
« When spirits escape, they may bump into something accidentally. An unlikely place, an imaginary situation. When music is playing, each one his ear. Animals, people, I don’t care about the audience. When the artist intervenes, everything becomes possible. Beyond our walls, a dream becomes reality, Though just for a moment : appears, exists. »
Robert, A Swan lake in a stable
« Living in a closed space deteriorates a person without a doubt. That’s why to enlarge my cell, I thought about its opposite : an open space. For me, nature expresses this idea. And from all these landscapes, I chose the woods as one of the spaces I miss. There, where I would like to be… The mattress represents this dream. »
Alaitz, And if I woke up in the wood
« I have chosen my wardrobe of my cell because it reminds me my high school years. At this time, I would have never believed that I would be locked up one day. For this reason I suggested laying it down and putting books in it while trying to relate my life story until now. Young student…after my professional degree, I’d done my military service then looked for a job, and began living with my girlfriend. Then no more work…At this moment, bad choices, then justice caught up with me. Currently on a professional training course, I’m in the throws of making a new start. This brings me new knowledge to enable me to find work. That’s the reason I’ve chosen a high school, to incite the students to reflect on their future. This age is important. The people that surround you, diplomas are very important for their future success. »
Ben, Ben’s wardrobe : A life course
« Photo from Wimereux breakwater. On the seafront. With the small basin during low tide. Wimereux is the town where I grew up. In this small basin, I paddled, learnt to swim. During Summer with mates, it was evenings in beach cabins to watch the sunset, -unique every evening. During my childhood, with the mums. After my teenage years, weekends riding motorbikes on the sand. Racing in the water. Evenings on terraces with cokes, laughing over our day’s antics. Watching the sunset. In the evening, teenagers’ foolishness, fights with bangers. In gutters…Boom ! Hide and seek in beach cabins. Always the four of us for years. Inseparable. Always on the Wimereux breakwater or near the sea. All kinds of foolishness, of games…All my childhood, my teenage years, my youth… Happy memories. Very happy.
Anne-Sophie, Childhood sketch
«I brought my table and chair from my cell to the town of Merlimont. We took possession of the beach after so many years of prison. This one reminded me of my holidays with my own little family. How long ago the time when we’ve enjoyed watching the sea, the waves breaking on the beach, children playing on the sand, lovers …Whilst staring so hard at the sea, one day I saw a mermaid in the ocean. She was reaching to me. Was it a mirage ? She was calling me in song. I approached gingerly. She took me into nothingness. I lived a beautiful dream with my pretty mermaid. For a few hours, I forgot my imprisonment. For a short moment, everything changed : the sand had replaced the concrete, no more barbed wire, the cries of seagulls had replaced the prisoners’ cries. I landed and I came back to the surface. Now, I’m staring at the sky, whilst waiting for my mermaid to reach for me again.
Mario, Mario’s mermaid
« On our way on holiday, the bell tower of Notre Dame d’Albert was the sign of our return to family life. The car was heading towards unknown areas. The solid gold dome inspired pious images from my memories.
My artwork represents the breath of Our Lady which brings a clarity of spirit. The picture uncovers itself with the wind, in a space of light, giving way to the discovery of the triangle of knowledge. »
dOdO, Pleasant Journey
« 1200 km separate me from my home; from my loved ones, from my equals. During several years, this separation of 1200 km was softened by solidarity, smiles, tears of joy and screams of revolt. It’s time to break the prison walls and to build factories, schools, houses with the bricks. It’s time to go back home. For all of us. »
Oihana, It’s time to go back home