The Isère and the Work:
The communes on the left bank of the Isère river are situated within Grenoble’s urban expansion and on the historic route linking the Alps to the Mediterranean. Real estate pressure due to proximity to the Grenoble agglomeration and the grouping of communes into communities made these villages reposition themselves in order to preserve their specificities.
In the context of the region’s growing urbanisation, the old industrial sites are part of common imagination in connection with local working class history forged over several generations. Susanne Bürner was invited to take note of this observation. Two emblematic sites were located – the old royal Saint-Gervais canon foundry and the Echaillon quarries.
Susanne Bürner did not want to limit her research to the history of the two communes however, she immersed herself in local geography, visited many sites and collected stories as well as rich iconography on the industrial history of the two banks of the Isère. During the course of her reflections, the river’s role appeared strategic – it facilitated the circulation of goods, people and labour with bridges, boats, rafts and traps. Its strong presence at the foot of the Vercors hills always impresses the traveller. It is also through the eyes of a foreigner, in this case a young boatman, that Susanne Bürner presents fiction in the form of a film, The Crossing. The publication of two leperellos, L’Isère and Le Travail, (The Isère and The Work), combine images, archival drawings and the artist’s own photographs.
L’Isère and Le Travail (The Isère and The Work)
Artist’s edition, 600 examples
Width of leperello when opened out: 104 x 10.4cm
10 euros for the set
Patrons: Saint-Gervais Commune represented by Madame Faure, the mayor, members of the SPIA association – Sauvegarde du patrimoine industriel d’autrefois (Safeguarding the Industrial Heritage of Yesteryear) and the Vercors Regional Nature Park
Funding: Vercors Regional Nature Park within the Framework of the European LEADER programme (Fonds européen agricole pour le Développement rural), Fondation de France / New Patrons Programme
Film credits: Susanne Bürner, photographic credits: édition Phoebé Meyer