Mathieu Pernot (c) photographie
exposition passée

Mathieu Pernot

Fragments of history
from September 19th 2015 to January 4th 2016
Musée national Pablo Picasso, La Guerre et la Paix

The exhibition on display from 19 September 2015 to 4 January 2016 in Vallauris is part of a series of
invitations extended by the Musées nationaux du XX e siècle des Alpes-Maritimes to contemporary artists to exhibit their work in the chapel at the Musée national Picasso in Vallauris. Designed to echo Picasso's "War and Peace" masterpiece, these exhibitions explore contemporary approaches to themes of political consciousness.

The themes of identity and memory lie at the heart of Mathieu Pernot's work. For the past twenty-odd years, his work has documented the fringes of society in the modern world (Roumanie [Romania] (1998), Portes [Doors] (2001), Les Hurleurs [The Howlers] (2001-2004), La ville aveugle [The Blind City] (2003), Implosions [Implosions] (2001-2008), Les Migrants [The Migrants] (2009), La Jungle [The Jungle] (2009- 2010), Le Feu [The Fire] (2013). The photographer also creates installations and adds to his contemplation of history by drawing on archives that he presents in their raw state (Un camp pour les bohémiens [A Bohemian Camp] (1998-1999) or through the filter of his analytical eye and artistic translation (Le Grand Ensemble, [The Greater Whole] 2006 and L’Asile des photographies [The Asylum of Photographs] 2010-2013). This exhibition is an opportunity to lend visibility to those who exist or have existed in the margins of our society while questioning our attitudes to the conditions of this representation.

For Vallauris, Mathieu Pernot brings us an installation based on work he is currently carrying out on the Rivesaltes Camp (Pyrénées-Orientales). The Rivesaltes military Camp was founded in 1875. Over the course of the 20 th century, its barracks were successively used to house Republican refugees of the Spanish civil war (1939), detain victims of the Vichy regime (1941-1942), and house Harki families in precarious conditions from 1962 on. The Camp has fallen into disuse since 2007, with the abandoned buildings left to deteriorate and the walls of the barracks left to crumble.

Since 2012, Mathieu Pernot has been taking fragments of these collapsed walls to showcase them in different contexts. By restoring these wall fragments to their vertical positions, Mathieu Pernot reminds us of their historic role as tools designed to demarcate and enclose. He also lends them symbolic value as 'monuments' in the etymological sense of the word, meaning 'that which allows us to remember'. This wall becomes a kind of architectural archive that condenses and gives material form to collective memory.

In the apse of the Picasso chapel, Mathieu Pernot chooses to showcase five photographs from his Hurleurs (2001-2004) series: five people screaming out to communicate with incarcerated members of their family, tucked away in the chapel's apse like a choir whose collective cry bounces off the walls to ultimately bring the Rivesaltes wall tumbling down. The power of these words that cut through the impenetrable walls seems to ward off imprisonment and isolation.

Anne Dopffer, general curator of heritage and head of the Musées nationaux du XX e siècle des Alpes-
Johanne Lindskog, curator of heritage at the Musée national Marc Chagall

This exhibition is organised by the Musées nationaux du XX e siècle des Alpes-Maritimes. It is funded by
the Banque Populaire Côte d’Azur for th

Visuel : Mathieu Pernot, Sans titre, 2009, Paris. Photographie. Courtesy galerie Eric Dupont, Paris, 2016. 

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December and 1 January

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