“A temporary commemorative box”
Duret’s grandfather, Raoul Duret, is a survivor of Dachau concentration camp and Allach sub-camp. To create her images, she traveled to Germany with her obsolete analog camera because she is interested in the effects of unpredictable exposures, chemical processing, and black and white film, a common feature of the historical repertoire of camp images. concentration.
Duret comments on the process of exhibiting his photos in the SIGHTINGS cubic exhibition in the Hall building.
“The cube transforms into a temporary commemorative box that substitutes visitors to the Camp Memorial for spectators and passers-by in the Hall Building who are invited to reflect on our perspective on history. The four photographs place us on the threshold of the camp, ”she wrote in her project notes.
“We are positioned behind four vis-à-vis images which form an interior dialogue accessible only from an angle or from the front through the empty space of the cube: a space-time, a space of reflection on the distance that history places us irremediably.
The result is a powerful meditation on the museification of places of memory, a recurring theme in Duret’s work, whose current projects question places of memory and explore intergenerational transmission and black tourism.
This is evident in Dachau, where the front door is actually a replica, while the original door is installed at the end of the memorial’s permanent display. But in the age of Instagram, hundreds of thousands of visitors every year take all kinds of replica photos to post on social media.
“In his project, Duret included photographs of people photographing the replica of the door,” explains Eilers Smith. “She examines what prompts us to photograph something that millions of people have already photographed and which happens to be a copy of the actual historical object.”
Emmanuelle Duret’s photographic installation Die KZ und die Gedenkstätte: Replica I can be seen in the SIGHTINGS cubic display unit on the ground floor of the Henry F. Hall building in Concordia (1455, boul. De Maisonneuve O.), accessible daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ‘in January 2022.