"Twenty-Four Modern Lorraine Churches, published in conjunction with the exhibition Tables et Matières at the Médiathèque des Abattoirs in Toulouse, serially documents churches of the reconstruction period in the Lorraine region.
During the fall and winter of 1944, the Third United States Army advanced from Nancy towards northern Germany. Facing strong resistance, it bombarded the villages along the way, leaving in its wake only hamlets in ruins. Beginning in the late 1950s, demolished churches were gradually reconstructed in a modern style that was more or less pronounced. Returning to Strasbourg one Sunday in the winter of 2010, I "stumbled" upon the Moyenvic church. I perceived a sort of half-expressed resignation towards this architecture that they had neither chosen, nor ever truly accepted.
So for three years, I retraced the route taken by the American army in search of what, paradoxically, seemed to me to be the remains of the reconstruction. This work of surveying for me was to describe an encounter, under all too familiar tragic circumstances, between this Lorraine, at once rural and industrial, and modern architecture – between these austere landscapes and these new forms. It seemed necessary to account for this sudden appearance, this strangeness, and to a certain extent, the resulting incomprehension. It was a strange idea to think of repairing the trauma of the war with buildings cast in the same concrete as the neighbouring bunkers.
Beyond certain prejudices, they appear rather beautiful to me: not so much these churches, but these encounters. This book will contribute, I hope, to casting a different light on this territory whose churches from the reconstruction are one of its singularities."
Published by Poursuite Editions, 48 pgs, 21 × 21 cm, Hardcover, 2016, 978-2-918960-92-8