This publication accompanies the exhibition La saga des inventions, du masque à gaz à la machine à laver at Croisière Arles as part of Les Rencontres Internationales de la photographie d’Arles 2019 (1 July – 22 September).

Luce Lebart (born in 1970 in Asnières-sur-Seine, France) is a photography historian, exhibition curator and author.


More information about the project you find here.

Cloud projection disks for the 1928 Salon des arts ménagers at the Grand Palais, 19 January 1928. (© Fonds historique / CNRS Photothèque)
National Scientific and Industrial Research and Inventions Office, Louis Lapicque’s visual field shutter goggles, December 1926. CNRS collection, B_6127.

Between 1916 and 1939 thousands of films and photographs were produced in France, in line with the national policy encouraging scientific and industrial research. These largely unknown images stand as visual witnesses to twenty years of invention and research. Their analog archives trace through the history of innovation, anchored at first in war and national defense, before shifting towards civilian and domestic life. This history, interlaced with design, lies at the crossroads of science, technology and industry. The images also tell a story that is still unfolding today, that of the institutionalization of research. From the very beginning a systematic archiving policy was set up. These administrative, yet aesthetically breathtaking images were produced in mass by the institution. Behind the scenes however, visionaries and pioneers harnessed and experimented with the power of the still and moving image: its demonstrative, archival, educational, aesthetic and communicational applications.

Publisher’s Info

Listening for mines, 28 January 1917, gelatin silver print, © Archives nationales, 398AP/38.
Flame protection mask and hood, 1917-1918, gelatin silver print, 398AP/36. (© Archives nationales)
A taxi equipped with Louis-Auguste Laurenceau’s anti-crushing device, photographed at the Bellevue mechanics laboratory, 23 September 1924. (© Fonds historique / CNRS Photothèque)
Publisher: RVB Books

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