OLFACTORY RESISTANCEpublished on 2023-01-03
GRAPHIC & OLFACTORY EXPHIBITON
Manon Chesnel, third year student of DNMADE (National Diploma of Art and Design Professions) in Graphic Design at the Lycée des Arènes in Toulouse, contacted us for the realization of her thesis on the smell and the possibilities of its insertion within the graphics.
She wanted to direct her memory project towards the realization of an exhibition that could be adapted to public cultural spaces, such as museums, and evoke a historical period through smell.
The subject she determined was Toulouse under German occupation during World War II.
We accompanied Manon in the creation of specific scents related to the historical period mentioned through three people from the Toulouse resistance: Angèle, Marise & Jean-Pierre.
PERFUMES OF RESISTANTS
Here are the characters and their scents:
Angèle Del Rio Bettini: Spanish exile, at 18, she organized with 6 friends the first act of resistance in Toulouse by dropping leaflets on the procession of Marshal Pétain which passed rue Alsace Lorraine.
- Aqua lavanda de Puig: Eau de cologne with lavender scents created in the 1930s by the Catalan company. A great success at the time and a fragrance worn equally well by men and women.
- Brown tobacco: Angèle was always described with a cigarette in her mouth. At that time, it turns out that dark tobacco was ubiquitous and smoked, while blond tobacco was only marketed in the United States at the end of the Second World War. The main brands smoked in France were the Gauloises, the Celtics, the Elegantes…
- Bouillon Kub: “A few days before, the group made a system to avoid getting caught. A kind of rat trap on which the leaflets are placed. The spring is weighted by a box of Bouillon Kub filled with water. This last, pierced with a small hole, empties slowly. Once empty, the spring is released and throws hundreds of leaflets in the air.”
Marise Crémieux-Hurstel : young Jewish girl who hid from house to house with her family during the Occupation and who kept a diary which has now been published.
- Marigolds: Marise explains in her diary that she remembers the first house where she hid through the smell of these flowers: “On the other hand, the beds of marigolds that border the alley in the garden are in bloom and their smell enchants me… I who didn’t like carnations, my taste changes!”
- Licorice: Marise recounts the crash of an English plane in the neighboring garden. She then secretly meets the paratrooper and gives him what she has in her pocket: licorice….
Student at the Sorbonne, Jean-Pierre Vernant engages by anti-fascism in the Young Communists. Received first in the aggregation of philosophy in 1937, he was mobilized in the infantry in 1939. Demobilized in August 1940 while he was in Narbonne with his brother, Vernant immediately engaged against Vichy: equipped with a small portable printing press, the two brothers distributed leaflets calling for resistance. Appointed professor of philosophy at the Lycée de Garçons de Toulouse, he met Raymond Badiou and Ignace Meyerson, two teachers with whom he frequented the anti-fascist think tanks led by intellectuals such as Georges Friedmann, Vladimir Jankélévitch, Paul Dottin, Raymond Naves or Jeanne Modigliani . He joined the Liberation-South movement and, after the invasion of the southern zone in November 1942, took charge of the Secret Army in the department. He organized the transport of weapons and equipment, sabotage operations, the neutralization of agents in the service of the Gestapo, and the recovery of information. In October 1943, he narrowly escaped an operation by the Vichy police at the headquarters of the Secret Army, in the Saint-Aubin district. He managed to free his comrades from the Centrale d’Eysses in January 1944. In May 1944, Jean-Pierre Vernant, known as “Berthier”, took command of the FFI in Haute-Garonne. He continued this intense clandestine activity by assuming his professorship, and it was only forced by the threat of an arrest that he went into total secrecy in May 1944. Alongside Colonel Serge Ravanel, he developed the plans for the Toulouse insurrection, leading to the liberation of the city on August 19 and 20, 1944. In particular, he succeeded in bringing all the local gendarmerie into the ranks of the Resistance.
- Gunpowder: to evoke the missions in which he participated.
- Chalk: In order to remind that in parallel with his resistance activities, he led a double life by continuing to exercise normally as a teacher.
- Garrigue: Acid and limestone soil of the Mediterranean region; brushy vegetation that covers this terrain.
The exhibition referenced the work of Toulouse photographer Germaine Chaumel