communication space
archives of the literary life under the occupation

The exhibition "Archives de la vie littéraire sous l'Occupation" (Archives of Literary Life under the Occupation) was intended to present a mass of incredibly rich documents at the Hôtel de ville de Paris: abundance and, at the same time, austerity, since it consisted only of papers (magazines and books, handwritten or printed texts, identity papers, a few photographs).
Thus, a whole era was relived in its complexity, this "gray zone" of which Primo Levi spoke, where waiters, resistance fighters, collaborators, but also and above all people who could have belonged, successively or at the same time, to several of these categories.
Our work consisted on the one hand in creating the graphic universe of the exhibition itself (map of Paris during the Occupation, frieze in relief indicating, according to the angle from which it was considered, the different pseudonyms of the Resistance writers, etc.), as well as the various communication documents (invitations, posters, exhibition journal, etc.).


Two different visuals were chosen and used: on the one hand, an image of the Eiffel Tower, with two German planes in the sky. The image was reworked so as to appear to be composed of all the archives on display. The other visual, more refined, was a simple letter, the "V" of victory dear to General de Gaulle, drawn by lines that, like strings, seemed to unravel. Suffering and resistance of the letter, and thus of the world of Letters... The poster campaign played the day/night teasing card. Thanks to a lighting system, the textual information appeared only at night, while during the day, the naked image of the Eiffel Tower and the airplanes was the only thing to be seen. The aim was to arouse the curiosity of passers-by, and to make perceptible the experience of occupied Paris, of its nocturnal, hidden and resistant activities. Deemed too controversial by the mayor of Paris at the time, this campaign was the shortest in history, since all the posters were removed after 24 hours...