Summer exposure. Exhibition Robert Doisneau at the Padirac Chasm until November 3

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Robert Doisneau, exhibition of his photos in the Gours Lake at the Padirac Gouffre.
Robert Doisneau, exhibition of his photos in the Gours Lake at the Padirac Gouffre. (BENJAMIN DECOIN / SES OF PADIRAC)

In 1954, the famous photographer, who died in 1994, creates beautiful images in this unmissable site in the Dordogne valley, the Padirac Gouffre. And 65 years after his report, Robert Doisneau returns to Padirac. His photos are presented during the visit of the chasm.

The first on a natural cornice that once hosted a restaurant, close-up faces of guides or visitors fascinated as children by what they discover. At 56 meters deep, after an elevator descent, a new stage.

Pictures of Robert Doiseau exhibited at Pit 1 of the Chasm.
Pictures of Robert Doiseau exhibited at Pit 1 of the Chasm. (BENJAMIN DECOIN / SES OF PADIRAC)

"There, we are at the center of the chasm, if we raise our head we have a perfectly circular hole, facing us we have one of the highlights of the exhibition Robert Doisneau, a tarpaulin over 30 meters long installed along of the escalator, we see photos of guided tours with the guides of the time ", says Jean-François Mangin is a geologist and cultural mediator in the abyss.

1954. RItuelle at Rain Lake in the Padirac Gouffre.
1954. RItuelle at Rain Lake in the Padirac Gouffre. (ROBERT DOISNEAU WORKSHOP)

More than the site, it is those who work there or those who visit it that Robert Doisneau captures in his goal: cook of the old restaurant, group of girls or scouts. We must continue to descend and travel 500 meters by boat on the underground river to reach the most spectacular rooms of the chasm. At 103 meters underground, new photos await the visitor:

"We are at Lac des Gours, it's a room with lots of small basins, very blue, which can be quite deep, a pretty part of the exhibition with 11 backlit shots that are distributed all along the path of visit, with essentially photos of the region and its villages, those who fascinated Doisneau when he came to spend his holidays here ".

A holiday remembered by the photographer's daughters, Annette Doisneau and Francine Deroudille, thanks to whom this exhibition was able to take place. They remain very attached to the region, Francine Deroudille is therefore happy that the photos of her father are presented in Padirac:

"It seemed obvious that they found a particular meaning, being exposed on the spot, and that it was one of the functions of photography also to shake the memory like that …"

1954. Visitors to the Chasm of Padirac.
1954. Visitors to the Chasm of Padirac. (ROBERT DOISNEAU WORKSHOP)

Images that attest that yesterday and today this underground world fascinates. Last year the Padirac Gouffre welcomed more than 480,000 visitors.

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