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Michel Aguilera “Vêtements d’Hiroshima” (Clothes from Hiroshima)
August 4, 2015 - August 9, 2015Free
Gallery g’s series of exhibitions commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the A-bombing continues with Michel Aguilera’s haunting photographs of clothing found in the aftermath of the bombing.
“It began in 1997 with the creation of a series of photographs entitled “Shrouds”. This was based on the theme of abandoned clothes which I used to pick up from rubbish dumps, which I would then take photos of in the studio using the so-called calotype process. I intended at the time to showcase mass consumption in all its excesses through this series of images. Beyond this, I also wanted to evoke the tragedy of disappearance.
The tragedy of disappearance and brutal death implicit in this theme haunted me as the inevitable expressionof abandoned clothing.
As I prepared the journey to Japan, I was about to discover the existence of relics from the nuclear holocaust: those sad mementos kept at the Peace Memorial Museum which we saw during our visit in 2005.
A connection was developed with my “Shrouds”. I felt the need to photograph these intimate symbols of Hiroshima victims’ bodies. I wanted to communicate their suffering transposed in the marks on the fabrics.
The clothes belonging to victims of the explosion seemed to me to be like fossils we discover buried in the ground. They held the feelings of everything that was experienced in the flesh, in all its sorrow, helplessness and shame…
By taking photographs of these clothes of misfortune, I wanted to be a funnel of recollection. I wanted to be sensitive and present, like the survivors’ voices still continuously narrating this burning memory of nuclear fire, this pre-planned moment of hell which fell from the heavens.
The snapshot was produced starting from a traditionally crafted wooden device, using the so-called calotype process. This photographic technique dates back to the beginnings of photography from around 1840. It is amethod consisting of a direct print on photographic paper with exposure times lasting several seconds. This distinctive system is comparable to a ritual (in its implementation) and foisted itself on me because of its slow pace, which inspires a certain respect and reverence. The rather unexpected change in photographic execution accentuates contrasts and transforms colours. It therefore inspired me to see the unforeseen effects of atomic radiation, revealing the very exposure to radiation felt by the victims.”
Michel Aguilera from Vêtements de Hiroshima January 2008
Open 11:00-20:00（last day until 17:00）
Opening reception August 4 18:00
Includes free screening of the documentary Atomic Mom with English subtitles, preceded by a panel discussion between Michel Aguilera, Atomic Mom director Pauline Silvia and Hiroshima survivor Emiko Okada who is featured in the film. The panel discussion will have English and French interpretation and food and drink will be available.