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Arnaud Pagnier


The Seven of Champagne

In the summer of 2019, after a renewed reading of the novels of Chrétien de Troyes, I am undertaking personal research into medieval literature. I discovered a number of authors who, because they belonged to the same period and shared a common territory, reminded me of familiar places in the Champagne region where I grew up. The following autumn, I began a field survey in search of material traces of these personalities in the places where they lived.

The photographic series followed in the footsteps of seven authors from medieval Champagne. Seven personalities whose historical, artistic and literary importance merits attention. The aim is also to place them in the context of the contemporary geography of a little-known region.

After several weeks of intense exploration, location scouting and shooting, I had to face the facts: not a trace of these people still exists. I did, however, bring back a series of photographs which, from this ‘absence’, reveal the landscape of Champagne. The historic Champagne joins the one I might have dreamt of. And of a very real and tangible Champagne, of its geographical, economic, social and ecological landscape as it is today.

The series was presented at the group exhibition, Expérimentations #11, at La Chambre, Strasbourg, in June 2021, curated by Guy-Marie Meyer and Guillaume Chauvin.

The project to publish a book grew out of their encouragement to develop this work.

Arnaud Pagnier

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