The Eye of Clairvaux is a interactive multimedia artist's book about the infamous Clairvaux prison.
Trans Photographic Press will publish it in September 2015.
I made seven video portraits of inmates at this prison known as a "Maison centrale". It is a high-security prison for men sentenced to very long terms. The portraits are a process of sculpture and video projection. I call them "antiportraits".
An inmate J-P said « It is important for prisoners to be able to feel alive. »
At Clairvaux, there are two prisons side by side: the "Maison centrale" and the "Grand cloître". The old convent, turned into prison under Napoleon, is empty today. "The Eyes of Clairvaux" is the relationship between the reality of confinement and the history of the prison.
The book opens in the middle as if the reader has entered the prison. After downloading the application, customers can scan pages to watch a video, hear a recording or read a text.
F. said "In front of my cell there is a tree, it's huge except that they pruned it a little. When the wind blows we hear whistling in branches. That pleases me."
This project will allow the words of the inmates to circulate freely.
Djamel said "Just now, when you surprised me, I was watching at a finch, a finch on the barbed wire. It was a male, I recognized him!"
Akim said "In prison, I prefer the nigh...and outside, I prefer the day..."