Logo Marie-Claire Raoul
Logo Marie-Claire Raoul
The American Bathing Suit > The trip > NEVER MADE IT BACK
  • NEVER MADE IT BACK, embroidery on canvas, Marie-Claire Raoul

    NEVER MADE IT BACK, embroidery on canvas, modeled on the 29th May 2000 "Time" cover, 200cm*100cm, February 2007

  • NERVER MADE IT BACK (detailed), Marie-Claire Raoul

    NEVER MADE IT BACK (detailed), embroidery on canvas, modeled on the 29th May 2000 "Time" cover, 200cm*100cm, February 2007

  • 29th May 2000 "Time" cover, © Robert Capa, monochrome black on white, Marie-Claire Raoul

    GREATEST GENERATION, modeled on the 29th May 2000 "Time" cover using one of © Robert Capa's D-Day photographs, black monochrome on white, 3rd March 2007

  • 29th May 2000 "Time" cover, © Robert Capa, bitmap, Marie-Claire Raoul

    GREATEST GENERATION bitmap, modeled on the 29th May 2000 "Time" cover showing one of © Robert Capa's photographs of the allied armies' marine assault on the beaches of Normandy on 6th June 1944, black monochrome on white, 3rd March 2007

  • [NEVER MADE IT BACK] view of the exhibition, Milizac, February 2011, Marie-Claire Raoul

    [NEVER MADE IT BACK], view of the exhibition, Ar Stivell center, Milizac, February 2011

  • [NEVER MADE IT BACK] view of the exhibition, Milizac, February 2011, Marie-Claire Raoul

    [NEVER MADE IT BACK], view of the exhibition, Ar Stivell center, Milizac, February 2011

  • [NEVER MADE IT BACK] view of the exhibition, Milizac, February 2011, Marie-Claire Raoul

    [NEVER MADE IT BACK], view of the exhibition, Ar Stivell center, Milizac, February 2011

NEVER MADE IT BACK

On 5th June 2000 Franck goes to Salt Lake City again to fly back home. In the plane he finds the weekly “Time” from 29th May 2000 and the daily “Le Monde” and he reads them.

The 29th May 2000 Time magazine is a “Memorial Day” special issue. In the United States “Memorial Day” is celebrated each year on the last Monday in May. In the beginning it was created for people to pay their respects to the men and women who died in the Civil War. Today Memorial Day is about everyone who died for the homeland.

29th May 2000 cover of the weekly "Time", Memorial Day Special

29th May 2000 cover of the weekly “Time”, Memorial Day Special

The Time cover is divided in two parts. The top one shows an excerpt from a letter written by an American soldier who died in the Omaha Beach marine assault in Normandy on 6th June 1944. The bottom part is illustrated with one of the famous photographs Robert CAPA took during that operation. The middle part connecting both images is divided in 3 strips: one is blue, one white, one red. On the first, red strip this sentence is written: “CORRESPONDANCE FROM SOLDIERS WHO NEVER MADE IT BACK”. On the second, white strip: “LAST LETTERS HOME”. On the third: “PLUS TOM BROKWAY REVISITS THE GREATEST GENERATION”.
During his trip, Alix’s father is thus confronted with the tragic fate of the American soldiers who left for France in June 1944 never to come back. History, when we update it, is revealing of the complex ties between two nations. What is the price of freedom? Must we forget to keep on living? When exactly do myths collapse or, on the contrary, when do they hatch? Who owes who? The “NEVER MADE IT BACK” installation shows a tapestry of the enlarged image of the photograph by Robert Capa that is printed on the Time cover.
The choice of leaving large spaces between the stitches of the tapestry – just like Alix did with her tapestry when she was six – allows me to conjure up the void left by those men who disappeared.

Embroidery made at school by Alix in 2000 when she was 4 years old

Embroidery made at school by Alix in 2000 when she was 4 years old

The tapestry is intentionnally bigger than the original image because of the importance of this event in everyone’s imagination.
The novel “Vertigo” by W.G. Sebald is a part of NEVER MADE IT BACK. W.G. Sebald never stopped questioning memory by gathering what was forgotten or repressed, and the texts or images that remained.

W.G. Sebald's «Vertigo«, Gallimard publishers

«Vertigo», W.G. Sebald

Using his personal memories as well as public tracks of collective memory, W.G. Sebald tried to give meaning to a memory that was slipping through his fingers. W.G. Sebald was born in 1944 in Germany and he felt especially concerned with that time of the post war period. He wondered about the lack of interest the German society was feeling for the destruction of Germany by allied bombings in the end of the war. He suffered from his father’s generation refusing to talk about the events of the war.
The town of Brest where Franck and Alix are living was almost entirely destroyed by allied bombings in the end of World War II.

Time period

February 2007 March 2007

Marie-Claire Raoul | NEVER MADE IT BACK
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