L'Asile des photographies : Mathieu Pernot et Philippe Artières

  • Art
  • Photography
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Photographe inconnu, Kermesse, hôpital de Picauville (Manche) / Archives Fondation Bon-Sauveur
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Photographe inconnu, Kermesse, hôpital de Picauville (Manche) / Archives Fondation Bon-Sauveur
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Mathieu Pernot, 'Le Dortoir des agités', Picauville, 2010 / © Mathieu Pernot
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Photographe inconnu, Bal masqué, hôpital de Picauville (Manche), sans date / Archives Fondation Bon-Sauveur
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Photographe inconnu, Kermesse, hôpital de Picauville (Manche) / Archives Fondation Bon-Sauveur
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Carte postale de la série 'Bon-Sauveur de Picauville' (Manche), sans date / Photo : Chardey / Archives Fondation Bon-Sauveur
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Mathieu Pernot, Ancien bloc opératoire, hôpital de Picauville (Manche), 2010 / © Mathieu Pernot
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Photographe inconnu, Kermesse, hôpital de Picauville (Manche) / Archives Fondation Bon-Sauveur
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Mathieu Pernot, Anciennes salles de bain, hôpital de Picauville (Manche), 2010 / © Mathieu Pernot
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Mathieu Pernot, Inventaire, hôpital de Picauville (Manche), 2010 / © Mathieu Pernot

For this exhibition, artist Mathieu Pernot and historian Philippe Artières teamed up to explore the archives of the ‘asile’ (psychiatric hospital) at Picauville in Normandy. They discovered a rich seam of photographs, startling in their banality – an improbable body of material stretching from the 1930s to the present day. Photos, videos, postcards, medical images, written testimonies and diary extracts cover everything from daily walks to charity bazaars and meals in the canteen, an entire universe emerging from the shadows. It's a million miles from the dramatic representations of mental illness that have been dominant since the 19th century – closer to the raw reportage of Raymond Depardon and Diane Arbus, but without the artistic dimension.

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