The exhibition aims to highlight the exceptional collection of Pierre Audebert, testifying to the practice of naturism on the Île du Levant from the 1930s to the 1950s. By presenting a selection of photographs chosen from among the hundreds taken. on the island, the route will adopt a point of view that is both documentary and intimate on life in Heliopolis and will explore in particular its architecture, the sports activities offered there, or the festivals and events punctuating the holiday season for the naturists.
While films shot by Pierre Audebert will unveil the island from a fictional or symbolic angle, his family albums will shed personal light on daily life in Heliopolis. His activity as a painter will also complement the presentation of his photographic work.
The artist’s involvement in certain naturist magazines or guides that he illustrated or whose publication he edited will allow the experience of Heliopolis to be placed in the more global context of the emergence and vitality of the naturist movement in France between the wars.
The exhibition at Villa Noailles will be preceded by a pre-hanging on the Ile du Levant in summer 2021, for the NU2 festival in August. It will also make it possible to consider in a not so distant future a more global exhibition on naturism in France.
Jean-Pierre Blanc, director of Villa Noailles, assisted by Thomas Lequeu
Pierre Audebert Archives: Serge Schoeffert
Pierre Audebert : Héliopolis, cité du soleil
Until September 26th, 2021
Mnt de Noailles, 83400 Hyères, France