Where does love go? Is there an archive of love, with its stores, its well-ordered drawers, its classifications, its alphabetical, chronological or thematic ordering, its underground corridors…?
Working deep within IMEC’s collections, Hélène Frappat discovers the archives of romantic writers. She reveals what she calls ‘archivism’: a form of espionage on the subject of love – the loved one, the lover; the vampiric raiding of the material and invisible imprints of the love affair; the embalming of emotion.
The archive, life and work are inextricably linked. The creative effervescence swarms with erotic scenes with or without crossings-out, encounters transcribed on paper, dancing bodies, forenames uttered like invocations, declarations hammered out on typewriters, scribbled in haste or miniaturised in telegrams, abandoned lovers, adored mothers, missing fathers… In this archive of love we find enchantment, idealisation, and also obsession, worry, desolation, and the loss of self.
Dedicated to writings on love, this exhibition presents some forty archival works from the IMEC collections.
Hélène Frappat is a novelist, essayist, translator and film critic. She has published several novels with Éditions Allia and Actes Sud, including Par effraction (2009), N’oublie pas de respirer (2014) and Le Dernier Fleuve (2019). The exhibition is presented as part of the Festival Normandie Impressionniste
visual: Fred Deux