The district of the Cartoucherie in Toulouse is a space of memory, molded by the once flourishing industry of arms with more than 1500 employees on the site. The place keeps track of this activity in the existing urban morphology, the preserved buildings, especially its very large hall, , the interior atmospheres, the public spaces and their interrelationships.
This series is based on the shared vision between three photographers based in Toulouse, France, Luc Adolphe, Frédéric Bonneaud and Loïc Adolphe. They were able to access during two successive visits to the big hall of La Cartoucherie, a site in transition after the departure of industrial activity, and before its new life in the cultural and economic center of the Cartoucherie eco-district. A space both steeped in history, and a space in the making.
These photographers acted as archaeologists by excavating these remains, reconstructing the signs of past existences and ultimately the whole life of a society. This society turned towards progress, modernity which made, then disdained this place. The man gives up, but sometimes nature interferes and takes shape again.
Discarded objects or spaces have never ceased to inspire photographers such as Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, Alfred Stieglitz, Germaine Krull, André Kertész, László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, or Brassaï…. By immortalizing these vestiges, these photographers give them a second life; these vestiges then appear dignified in their vulnerability, in the fragility of their outdated beauty, in the revelation of the wear and tear of time, in the blossoming of their patina. Still lifes sculpted by the movement of time and light.
This photographic project is based on two lines of work. Firstly, we approach the notion of memory of the site, memory of the industrial activity which strongly marks the buildings and their environment. We highlight the traces left by activities and by men: a form of industrial archaeology.
In a second step, we approach a more subjective aspect of the place; we try to make feel through photography the vast spaces left by the different industrial periods of the site, how they are articulated between them, how they speak to each other. In short, we try to transcribe the special atmosphere of a place in transition, a place between two states, a place both loaded with the past and with promises and future projects. We leave it up to the spectators to imagine what the past may have been like and what will be the future of this territory through the images that we offer them.