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Logo Marie-Claire Raoul
The American Bathing Suit > Original documents
  • View of the exhibition [The american bathing suit], Milizac, February 2011, Marie-Claire Raoul

    View of the exhibition [The american bathing suit], Milizac, February 2011

Original documents

The photographs

(Eight photographs in black and white taken in the garden in Kerzafloc’h on a July 2000 afternoon).
The patio of the house in Kerzafloc’h is bathed in sunlight. The children are having fun. On the first two photographs Alix looks the camera straight in the eye. Then she looks away. She rests her forehead on the bar of a garden chair. She contemplates the twists and turns of the stones arranged patchwork-like on the ground, or this encrusted root in the wooden bark.

The sheet

(Cotton and linen hessian embroidered with white cotton thread in the summer of 1980 by Alix’s mother. Width: 232 cm, length: 294 cm. The monogram in the middle, 24,5 cm from the edge, is made with a point de cordonnet droit. It consists of the initials MCR in capitals. 7 cm from the edge isolated cordonnées button loops are aligned on the whole width of the sheet. There are several burn marks.)

Cotton and linen hessian embroidered with white cotton thread in the summer of 1980 by Alix's mother

Embroidered sheet of cotton and linen hessian

It is a white cotton and linen hessian sheet. I probably embroidered it during the summer of 1980. I was 17 then. I have a precise memory of doing this on the small balcony of our house in St Brévin-Les-Pins. I am sitting in one of the old wicker chairs my father brought back from a trip in Asia. From this place I have a wide enough view on the road. I can watch and listen to the neverending flow of people going to the beach or coming back from there. A faint breeze on my left brings the fragrance of the mimosa to me. The small, velvety, golden spheres weighing down its branches are brushing against the swing.
When the holidays were over and my work was done, I folded it carefully and put it away in the wardrobe of my bedroom in Nantes.
Ten years later, while I was visiting my parents, I decided to take it with me to Paris and finally put it to use. But I got the idea that I should iron it first. I had arranged the table along the entrance of the apartment I lived in then in Paris, 375 rue de Vaugirard, on the 4th floor facing the street (neither code nor concierge). The burn marks the sheet endured on that day made it useless. I folded it back and put it all the way up in the big wardrobe.
After that it was not long until I met Franck.

Influences

Light : the visible to the invisible (Gallimard publishers/Passion of Science collection, Mutation of the visible (Philippe Hamou), Sophie Calle : “m’as-tu vue” (Centre Pompidou, 2003), Giuseppe Penone : “to turn your own eyes backwards” (1970), Encyclopaedia of ladies’ works by Thérèse de Dillmont (1980), The craft of Zeus : myth of weaving and fabric in the world gréco-Roman (John Scheid and John Svenbro), Watercolours made by Alix’s mother (Patio of St Brévin, august 1982).

Details

Marie-Claire Raoul | Original documents
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