Les Enfants De La Cité: the children of Cité Lesage-Bullourde and Boulogne-Billancourt 1949-1954

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

The output was an exhibition of archival photographs examining the work of photographer Marilyn Stafford, curated by Julia Winckler at the invitation of the Alliance Francaise Toronto, for the Pierre Leon Gallery (2017). Winckler curated a new version of the exhibition, with additional research, for the Maison de la Recherche de l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris (2020), delivered as a virtual exhibition.

Winckler’s distinctive approach brings ideas and methods from social anthropology to bear on the investigation of photographers’ practices and the wider significance for communities recorded in photographs. The research examined the relationship between Stafford’s practice and the social significance of the resulting work, and developed a curatorial research approach that re-activated the archival photographs to give emotional understanding of the individuals and communities represented. Winckler digitised a number of contact sheets and medium format negatives that had survived since Stafford first took the photographs in the Cité Lesage Boullourde and Boulogne-Billancourt, adjacent Parisian working-class neighbourhoods demolished in the late 1950s, and turned these into large prints for the exhibition. The research highlighted methodological approaches of oral history and geographical placement which enabled this archive imagery to become resonant for modern audiences, while foregrounding some of the complex histories, viewpoints and temporalities of Stafford’s photographs.

The exhibition was first shown in Toronto under the title Mémoires photographiques des coins perdus: Les Enfants de la Cité Lesage-Bullourde et Boulogne Billancourt, Paris, 1949-1954 (2017) and subsequently in Paris (virtually, 2020). The exhibitions were complemented by catalogues, including contextualising essays and additional research material, and a short documentary film.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrancaise Pierre Leon Gallery, Toronto , Canada
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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