montée de l'église, Clervaux
Photography is said to be able to open closed doors and render visible what is invisible. Chantal Vey's camera allows us to access settings that are normally closed to the public. The stockrooms and warehouses of museums can seem like indeterminate, unreal places. The eye of the lens sheds light on this unique atmosphere: through both its documentary and subjective potential, photography appears to share a special relationship with objects.
There are objects of varying types and varying sizes, marked by the past, once invented, manufactured, discovered, despised, loved or collected, safeguarded, valued and then forgotten? Time has alienated these objects, taken them from their context and released them from their purpose. Whether intact or broken, the objects silently tell of days past and embody the memory of bygone eras. They become visible within the museum only if they are shown in the context of an exhibition. In the warehouse, they are hardly recognisable: carefully packaged, covered, protected from stares and people. They are at the crossroads of being and not being, of purpose and vagueness, of sense and absurdity. Chantal Vey allows the observer to become a witness of how, in the half-light of the warehouses, not only the protective cover of the packaging but above all the game between half-light and darkness finally bestows a new form upon these objects and breathes new life into a collection in an extraordinary manner.
The image collection "Mémoires" was created in 2006 within the context of a work commissioned by the Municipal Archives of Toulouse.
Chantal Vey (*1970, Saint-Agrève) lives and works in Belgium and France.
text: A. Meyer
English translation by Claire Weyland