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La Chesnaie

I spent several weeks in the psychiatric clinic of La Chênaie (41120 Chailles).
A particular place, large and open, without walls or barriers. I let myself be carried, through the park, to the dining room, passing by the Club bar, then to the wagon where I slept. I talked a lot with the residents who addressed me very directly with a simple question: “Who are you? ". I was there to animate photo workshops for several weeks. Together we took hundreds of pictures on different subjects: shadow, light, landscape, portrait, architecture. During the last workshop, the residents used the photos to create collages on the theme “What is the Chênaie for me? ". We find them in this fanzine.

I'm trying to describe my experience at the clinic, but I can't find the right words. I have the collages in front of me and the word that comes to mind is: dense. But what is density? All is relative. It is the relativity of things that captivates me. When we say that something is more or less dense, we decide it in relation to certain references, certain "norms" on which we rely to "understand" the world. And if we moved the “norm”, would our society and our world move with it? Would what is known as dense become light? Would what was supposed to sink could fly?

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