This series was produced in the Fort de Queuleu near Metz. “I visited it in 2004 and put it in the back of my mind”, aware that it will certainly have to be treated differently. Between March 2016 and May 2017, André Nitschke makes three guided tours of the site. By his side, there are already the three dancers that he chose for the project. “I knew the Ormone company and its performers, Lucile Guin, Aurore Gruel and Alexandre Lipaux, for having already worked with them.However, I chose them the day they told me about their “Manipulation” project, a choreographic piece on the theme of blindness and confiscation of identity. It is, moreover, to them that I owe these white boxes which they use in their creation and which we kept in the photos. It is very logically to four that they will access the documentary loaned by the fort of Queuleu and feel together through the numerous testimonies that they will read “the violence and inhumanity” of this internment camp where one entered blindfolded, feet and hands tied, thrown up a staircase. And yet, of this violence, there will be no trace in the images of André Nitschke. The photographer deliberately avoided any reconstruction of the past to focus only on the body. He certainly chose to show a hampered body, reduced to the simplest gestures such as lowering or raising is head, clenching his fists or placing his hands flat … but he also chose, with his games of transparency and of double exposure, to show the capacity of the spirit to enter resistance, to release itself from the atrocity and to perpetuate the memory of those which are not there any more.
André NITSCHKE is a self-taught photographer, initiated very young to photography by his father who was a war photojournalist alongside Marc FLAMENT. Despite his lifelong interest in the discipline and all forms of the arts in general, it was not until 2008 and after the sudden interruption of a long sports career as an athlete, marathon runner and educator, that he really begins the photo and improves in its digital version while benefiting from the artistic advice of the Spanish photographer Andrès LEJONA. In 2011, he met the ballet of the Opéra-Théâtre de Metz-Métropôle which will now focus his work on thematic projects combining photo and dance. Since 2013, he has chained exhibitions in the Grand Est and abroad with, in particular, presentations at the Biennales Internationales de l’Image de Nancy (2016) and contemporary dance in Lorraine (2015 and 2017). In 2019, he won the 1st Ilford / Lumière / Réponses Photo prize as part of the 19th European Festival of Nude Photography, which enabled him to exhibit his series “Déva” at Espace Van Gogh en Arles.