_ 118, an ordinary closure

View all photos

 118, an ordinary closure

France, Loir-et-Cher, 2005-2010


On 17 February 2010, the 118 employees of Produits Céramiques de Touraine learned of the Sanitec group's decision to close the Selles-sur-Cher factory in the summer and to relocate production to Poland and Italy.

Change the dates by a few days or months, change the names of the factories: we find the same announcements repeated dozens of times, to the point that none of them is an event. It's just background noise that we get used to and don't talk about. Because we don't talk about what doesn't make a noise. Low-key closures of activities are organised, too common to be reported. They take place in small production units. None of them is significant on a national scale, on a political scale. Added together, however, they make something empty: the possibility of a future, perhaps, in many territories.


An ordinary closure is the project of bearing witness to this suspended time where negotiations take place, where struggle is possible and attempted, and where each person, oscillating between exasperation and dismay, seeks what he or she can do to change the course of things, or at least influence it. It is the project, through writing, to make the words spoken in this story heard, when only the figures are shown from a distance.

It is also a photographic bias, that of leaving the point of view of the great epic picture of the economy, of entering the places in the background, of photographing the faces, the apparatus of production doomed to disappear. It means getting closer to the details of things seen and experienced, so that in close-up, we can see the extent to which they are a sign, far from the anecdotal. Like a response, through these images so close, to decisions taken from too (?) far away.


Cécile Portier