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The condemned, midweek photo post from Ducey

Bloggers are supposed to tell you about places they have been and you should go.  Today our post doesn’t do that at all.  Here are 6 paintings, portraits of Russian political prisoners.  The look in their faces is timeless and terrible, but you cannot go and see this show.

We found them just by walked through an open door one day in Ducey, in the Manche. We were not looking for art or ideas and were confronted with a history so terrible and art so beautiful, it must not be forgotten. So we are sharing it with you.

The exhibition is long finished.

Our post today is a nudge, a suggestion that you don’t plan your holiday down to the last minute.  Walk through an unknown door. See a show you expect nothing of, take a chance and open your eyes and your heart to something new.

We didn’t expect to be transported into Stalin’s gulag in a pretty Normandy town, but are glad we were.  Good luck out there, let us know what you find.

The condemned

Created with cement, ash, soot, sawdust, newsprint and pigments, these drawings were executed by Pierre-Yves Halley in 2008, and based on photos of condemned prisoners found in KGB files from in the last century.

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Alongside these pictorial works the artist made an 18-minute video that fictitiously portrays these convicts, four men and two women. The exhibition info explained they are recounting their arrest until their execution by the Soviet secret services. They describe their experience of suffering as dissident in a totalitarian regime.

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