(Much more than time, it is sleep that is the antidote to sorrow. - Emil Cioran)
The main character of this project is an old house "asleep" in the city center of Doudeville, Seine-Maritime, in Normandy (France).
Doudeville, was once called "the "capital of linen" for its centrality in the European market and was internationally known for its fabrics.
This charming building, no longer inhabited since 2014, has been in the hands of the same family, the Guérin since 1720. The historical house, which oldest parts date back to 1534, is located on the market place of the town. It houses a workshop and a store on the ground floor. For many years, in close relation with the flourishing flax fabrics industry of Doudeville, this store has been dedicated to textiles. The workshop, very successful and busy, was known for its fabrics and the refine manufacture.
The story of the Guérin family and their workshop house reflects the great history, on six generations : first, they had an increasingly strong business, within the rise of commercial activity in Doudeville, a flourishing production at the beginning of the XIX century; then they slowly declined within the linen industry of the region. The family business struggled and faded, while the entire textile industry left Normandy. They finally closed, mirroring the economically depressed situation of the town.
The entrance facade is sometimes open, while the shutters remain closed. What does this place hide ? What stands behind ? On her visit to artist Delphine D Garcia, this house attracted Pozzoli's attention. In 2021 a chance to enter arrived...
To her great surprise, the house has survived all the historical and social changes, without undergoing any structural modifications: except for the shop, nothing has been modified for more than sixty years. The house is in a in between state, not completely abandoned, not kept. Objects, testimonies of several generations are stratified in this house with no hierarchy: everyday objects, some rarities, amazingly embodied dressed, hats and umbrellas for the festivities, ancient work tools, linen samples, bottons, silk threads, handwritten account books but also apparently meaningless objects, notes, medicaments...
In this project, Susanna Pozzoli explores this place, staging the objects. The traces of the true story of the owners, are transformed into a fictional story, informed by interviews of the current heir, Jean Baptiste. Photographs capture this in between place, creating a special atmosphere and seeking to give life to the soul of the house, slumbering under the dust of time. It is a ghost story where ancient inhabitants are showing us their objects and telling their memories of Sunday mornings, while getting ready to head to church...
Images are realized in analogical medium format.
The final project includes texts and some engravings in linocut.