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Abbey of Saint-Florent le Vieil : Benoit Arridiaux : Ce que l’on laisse aux vivants


What we leave to the living : this is the title of the exhibition by Benoit Arridiaux shown at the Abbey of Saint-Florent le Vieil (49) until August 25th. A photographic story around the farm he bought, What we leave to the living is a form of popular archeology which questions the exhumed memory and the transmission of a past existence. Echoing the traces and objects left by the previous occupants, the photographer also takes a look at the surrounding Loire landscape, thus drawing up a portrait of a place and its history. The photographer presents it like this!

It begins with a spatial mutation. A geographical escape so as not to mold and then perish. A lifestyle in transition, changes of reference points, a course that evolves but which becomes a quest. An adaptation that takes place gently and calmly even if the body is put to the test. There is what we see, what we experience and what others transmit to us. Raw and filtered transmission at the same time, shaped by what we find and what we seek, by the subject or by his descendants since he is no longer there. A physical, palpable, concrete transmission that embraces you or jumps down your throat. Transmission Immediate or latent, direct , sneaky and sinuous route at the same time. This allows things or landscapes to come to the surface that descendants might not have wanted to see reappear. For some it will be a cataclysm, for others it will be less painful, time will carry its share of happy, painful or nobly anecdotal memories. There will then be an appeasement, a grace, a spirituality.

Stranger to all filiation, here, no cataclysm. The issues are different. The inventory is subjective, the excavations piecemeal, the affect does not blur the lines too much.

The result is a popular, ordinary, accessible archeology bringing with it no less essential, existential questions. Who are we ? What are we leaving behind? What place do we occupy, in whose eyes? Who cares?

Benoit Arridiaux


Benoit Arridiaux : Ce que l’on laisse aux vivants
Until August 25, 2024
Abbaye de Saint-Florent le Vieil
Rue Charles de Renéville
49410 Mauges-sur-Loire, France

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