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Robert Doisneau in Public Baths


On the outskirts of Paris, the former “Lavoir-Bains-Douches Municipal”  (public bath) of Gentilly was transformed in 2020 and was given a new reason to be. It became the Lavoir Numérique: a unique cultural establishment, resolutely turned towards audiovisual creation. This place of diffusion (exhibitions, projections, debates, concerts, shows) and practice (workshops, training courses, residences) will have a programming punctuated quarterly by “Sequences” and will question the broad digital sphere under the angle of the image and the sound.

More surprisingly, the French photographer Robert Doisneau used to visit this bathhouse every week. A short film by Bernard Bloch, made in 1990 in the dilapidated building of the municipal bathhouse of Gentilly, questions his memories, while staging these same memories in a burlesque and phantasmagorical universe. “a weekly shower, but no more”, said Doisneau. Before seeing it as a founding experience, rooted in an education divided between the Republic and the clerical order.  “Water is civil and the soul is fire. And when the pores of the skin are unclogged and breathe, that’s the “well-being in the recovered cleanliness”.


Doisneau without the photos
From the series ‘T’as pas cinq minutes’ (Don’t you have five minutes)
A film by Bernard Bloch, 1990 (only in French)
Produced by L’Œil Sauvage
Image : Bernard Bloch
Sound: Frédéric Loth

Le Lavoir Numérique
4 rue de Freiberg 94250 Gentilly


Robert Doisneau Maison de la Photographie
1 rue de la Division du Général Leclerc 94250 Gentilly
+33 (0) 1 55 01 04 86

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