Street art and amateur film in Picardy
Vimeu region, Somme - France
Since May 2018, the people from the Vimeu area have been discovering an unusual open-air exhibition in their communities. Extra large-format works of street art have been installed on houses, factories and public buildings. And all the images used for this fresco come from old amateur films made in the region.
The exhibition, titled Campagne Street Art, was designed by the Archipop association along with the local communities in the Vimeu area.
Since 2003, Archipop has been collecting and preserving old amateur film footage shot in what used to be the Picardy region. Since the change in regional borders they now operate in the new Hauts-de-France region. In 2014, the association teamed up with rural localities in the Vimeu area to unearth amateur films made in the 20th century in this part of the Somme situated between Le Tréport, on the Channel coast, and Abbeville.
The operation was a success with 67 films being preserved, and several screenings, some with musical accompaniment, being set up as well as exhibitions.
The association brought in Jef Benech’, a musician and visual artist, who, with Archipop, selected several dozen frames from the Vimeu amateur films. These images were then enhanced and enlarged so as to create a fresco which was printed in large format and showcased both publicly and privately on walls, facades, in post-industrial areas, shops, town halls and churches, all located in the 25 communities that make up the Vimeu region. The images all have a connection with the place where they are shown.
The open-air exhibition of these 25 frescos began on 1st May and goes on until 31st October 2018. Archipop organizes cycle tours of the show and has even developed a mobile app as an aid for visitors – useful when choosing one of the several routes around the installations! During the visit, the app shows extracts from some of the films that inspired the frescos, and provides further information about the amateur filmmakers as well as the places and events shown.