In the vast green space that adjoins the château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines), about a dozen of panels perform a curious approximation between a few photographs unearthed of an album recalling the stay of the composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Houlgate (Calvados) in August 1911 and a series of speakers prehistoric flint flakes (as preserved in the Museum of national archaeology located close to the park). Studying shots of seemingly innocuous as authentic objects of search, this is the party adopted by Rémy Campos and Aurélien Poidevin, music historians as rigorous as imaginative, culminating in the exhibition ” Debussy at the beach “, subtitled ” an Archaeology of a photographic album “.
Presented until 15 December on the grids of the city hall and the national Domain of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, this open-air exhibition practice wisely, the confrontation of texts (correspondence of the musician, press clippings) and images (post cards, advertising documents) to render (according to the principle archaeological shown by a panel-based neolithic axes !) a past civilisation : the activity of a seaside resort in the Belle Epoque.
A place that does not suit him little
If Claude Debussy (which is celebrating in 2018 the centenary of the death), his wife and his daughter are at the center of the photographs reproduced in large format, the subject matter of the exhibition is located at the periphery and the background images. The various accessories of the range (with the cost of their rent), the categories of anonymous (domestic vendors), the personalities (of which Marcel Proust, who comes to sourcing flowers) are meticulously identified. Of same that shows the Casino, where, according to Debussy, the orchestra conductor ” leads a band of criminals, which are things variously stupid, however, that the sea took the opportunity to withdraw, rightfully indignant “.