La Malle du Lycée Descartes
The former Collège Royal of Tours became the Lycée Descartes in 1848. This high school, situated in the city centre, soon became known for its excellent teaching (Maurice Halwachs, Léon Brunschicg, Léopold Sédar-Senghor, and Pierre Verdier all taught there) and for its students' high success rate in examinations and competitions. To connect with the memory of the place, archaeological excavations were organized, accompanied by processing of the school's archives (photographs, manuscripts, a trunk with old books, etc.). Moreover, the destruction of an architectural element during the reconstruction of a new wing raised the question of the connections made between the scattered elements of the past and those of the present. The artist had to be able to restore the school's full identity. The mediator chose Patrick Corillon.
Thirty-eight texts taken from a fictive trunk and put together in a school diary pierce the administrative language and illuminate the ghostly spaces of the past. The artist thus reminds us that reality exists only in so far as it reaches each of us. Otherwise it would be nothing more than a truth belonging to some of us. This publication, given to the students and staff of the school, was available in 2000 and 2001 in bookshops in Tours and in the main bookshops of the national modern and contemporary art museums. The profits from the sales went towards the school's solidarity fund.
Patrick Corillon, born in Knokke (Belgium) in 1959, lives and works in Paris and Liège. Since the mid-1980s he has produced many works based on visual devices to which language is central, creating stories where fiction and reality are closely entangled.