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Marie SommerUne île


An island is voluntarily left unnamed, it is a possible, real and fictional narrative, which traces the attraction that this place exerts on the imagination. The work brings together photographs taken between 2012 and 2015, an original text by Jean-Yves Jouannais, and extracts from an essay by Rafael Argullol “The attraction of the abyss”, published in 1983. All these elements deal in their own way with certain aspects of the island of Rügen situated in the North-East of Germany on the Baltic Sea, whose chalk cliffs, falling into the sea, were immortalized by the romantic painter Caspard David Friedrich in 1818. Putbus, the first seaside resort on the island, was founded in 1816 and later other resorts were established. In 1936 the Nazi authorities planned a resort consisting of a uniform six-kilometre-long building facing the sea: Prora. This resort, a single 5-kilometre long bar organised by the KdF: Kraft durch Freude (strength through joy), was intended to accommodate 20,000 holidaymakers at the same time. The building, two-thirds of which was built, was never completed because the war interrupted its construction, and its ruins contain 10,000 identical rooms on five floors, all with a view of the sea. It was then used as a military base for the Soviet army during the Cold War, and temporarily disappeared from the maps.

Ruegen, the largest of the German islands (900 km2), is located on the Baltic Sea, between Poland and Denmark. Its geography is unstable and its contours shifting. The chalk cliffs of the island, descending towards the sea and collapsing, take with them the trees and all the vegetation they contain.
The book, An Island, brings together photographs taken on Rügen between 2011 and 2013, and found images, anonymous, archival or vernacular documents. The origin of each image is not specified, leaving the island drawn, floating between the possible and the imaginary.

  • Jean-Yves Jouannais & Rafael Argullol
  • Filigranes éditions
  • Language French
  • Release2021
  • Pages72
  • Format28.2 x 19.5 cm
  • ISBN9782350465180

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