“Between descriptive photography and artistic photography, there’s an intersection of views,” is how Ré-inventaire (Re-inventory) is defined. A new collection of books, its first two volumes, Etat des lieux and Bains publics were just published at Éditions Loco.
At the initiative of this project that aims to raise awareness about heritage and territory is Julie Corteville, an anthropologist by training who successively directed the Museum of the City of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and the French Museum of Photography in Essonne before becoming the Conservator of Heritage and the Head of the Heritage and Inventory Department of the Ile de France region. She chose the book medium (amongst others as exhibitions are also on the program) in order to: “Examine the importance of photography within a heritage department of inventory. Question the symbolic role played by the image in the construction of heritages…,” as she wrote in the introduction of the first volume of this new collection.
The idea is to intersect the views of photographers from the Ile de France region’s Department of Heritage and Inventory. Its role is to “make an inventory of, study, and publicize heritage to create a unique document of the territory”, as Stéphane Asseline, Philippe Ayrault, Laurent Kruszyk, and Jean-Bernard Vialles do in joining together in Etat des lieux, the first publication of the collection, with outside authors. For the second publication, Bains publics, Florence Levillain, from the house of photographers Signature, has her series of portraits of public bath users, originally taken for La France vue d’ici, combined with the architectural photographs of Laurent Kruszyk from the Ile de France region’s Department of Heritage and Inventory. An exhibition that finished at the end of April gathered them at the Sheds of the Cartier-Bresson spinning mill during the Month of Photography of Greater Paris in Pantin.
With their modest format, which does offer a nice space for photography, and their affordable price (less than twenty euros per publication), the books succeed in being educational and accessible to the general public. Different contributors to the books, from Christine Ollier to Michel Mélot, are included as well. A beautiful introduction. We cannot wait to see the next titles.