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Prison ! By Agnès Vergez


Visiting “Prison, Beyond the Walls” at the Museum of Confluences is a dive into an ethnographic exhibition above all, about the prison world, its atmosphere, its noises, its violence, its hobbies, its rules and constraints ubiquitous.

A risky exhibition which, under the leadership of Marianne Rigaud-Roy, head of the project, manages admirably to avoid the pitfall of clichés or sentimentality, by multiplying the points of view, and by summoning in one place, the testimonials from experts, institutions, inmates and artists.

It invites us to wonder about the reality of a universe where solitudes rub shoulders in the most sticky of promiscuities, where the punishment of isolation paradoxically prepares for reintegration, where art is for some a solution, and where and creativity persists, in all its forms, including to circumvent the law or turn everyday objects into weapons.

Exhibitions within the exhibition, the photography holds an important place by its realism sometimes believed, such as in the series of graffiti seized by d’Arnaud Théval, and which say all the latent violence between the prisoners and their supervisors.

Bruno Paccard immortalizes a series of Yoyos, these plastic bottles attached to strings, that the prisoners swing from one cell to another, and many of which are stranded in the barbed wire, as so many traces of a life in waiting.

Contemporary works by Valérie Bispuri, Grégoire Koorganow and Robert Sturman realistically document promiscuity and daily hobbies in Italian, American and French cells. It shows the bunk beds too cramped, gym sessions improvised with plastic bottles packs as weights, hugs during the sessions of collective parlors.

Finally, the series of Howlers, color portraits and large formats of visitors stayed outside by Mathieu Pernet, captures the visitor. Presented behind grids, these images are all the more moving.

The exhibition ends with “Résistances”, an area of ​​rebellion and rebellion where news photos are mixed with a testimony by photographer Gregory Korganow on self-inflicted acts of violence and mutinies in detention centers and prisons. isolation neighborhoods.

The scenography, mainly composed of 3 large cells with orange bars in front of acid green walls, is original and effective, but unfortunately concentrated in a single room. The immersive spaces designed by the Théâtre Nouvelle Génération in Lyon are captivating!


Musée des Confluences. Lyon

From October 18, 2019 to July 26, 2020

Opening Tuesday to Friday from 11h to 19h

Saturday and Sunday from 10h to 19h

Nocturne on Thursday until 22h

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