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Lucie Jean : Cité lacustre


Her name is Lucie Jean. Until February 7, she is exhibiting very surprising images of a national photographic commission from Les Regards du Grand Paris – Cnap (National Center for Plastic Arts) and Ateliers Médicis. She presents it as follows:

A stone’s throw from the Grand Paris Express station in Chelles, the parking lot of a large DIY store offers a discreet back door to the Île de Vaires: in its center, slipped into the folds of the Marne and the Chelles canal , Lake Vaires stretches lengthwise to the nautical base of the same name.

This lake is a strange border zone where the city and the countryside come together, they blend and observe each other from two opposite shores, both domesticated and wild, which I have frequented for a long time. Future site of the Olympic Games in for Paris 2024, the development projects will transform this balance. It was before this metamorphosis that I wanted to document and memorize the habits of this popular and little-known place.

On the North shore, the proximity to supermarkets, the RER path, backfiring scooters, beginner or more confident roller-skaters taking advantage of the long asphalt strip which seems to materialize the link with the city and which extends to the nautical base.

On the south shore, the bucolic softness of the regional woods, herons and moorhens, the secret of mushroom pickers and the pleasure of forbidden swimming. At the end of the week an old Sunday tradition is brought up to date on the banks of the Marne, more alive than one might imagine: the mists give way to the sooty clouds of family barbecues, teenagers in groups meet around the enclosure. ; fishermen take shelter in the reeds, and lovers hide under discreet aspen trees. In scattered bubbles, I met many groups: Ukrainians playing football, Macedonians dancing, Romanians fishing, Serbs napping, Communist Turks, Indians, Russians … In the middle of our discussions, a subject was recurring, dear to their eyes, that of the Lake. Each one evokes an expanse of water, a pond from their childhood, seeking to revive this luminous memory in order to feel alive. Through this nostalgia, they also told me about their present, cut off by the town from part of their roots. Already disillusioned some see their oasis transformed.

It could be a small site on the coast, but here, there is just no sea, we are at the gates of Greater Paris.

Lucie Jean


Lucie Jean : Cité lacustre


33 avenue Jean Jaurès – Le Pré St Gervais

by appointment until February 7, 2021

contact : Lucie Jean




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