Les Impatientes (The Impatient One)

Lionel Jusseret

2018 - 2021

12:05 p.m. The residents stand sighing before the swinging doors of the dining hall. The ones in wheelchairs are up front, all in a row. The able-bodied are in back. Mr. Jacques, a newcomer, is first. Nobody cuts the line. The doors finally open and the soup is served. The white coats hand out "elastic napkins for adults," which are really just jumbo bibs. Ms. Yvonne waves me over and asks me to help her tie her napkin around her neck. A former gym teacher, she’s a mischievous little woman and full of energy. I like her. She looks at me with a smile: “So how do you like it here with us old folks?”

For this work, Lionel Jusseret immersed himself in the daily life of a nursing home for a period of six months. There he encountered an invisible community which, despite itself, finds itself on the margins of society. These men and women, born between 1920 and 1945, are known as the silent generation. Having lived through World War II, they have experienced lack and worked hard all their lives. Reputed for their unassertiveness, they are described as fatalistic and conventional. This sweeping, simplistic vision pays little tribute to these Grandmas and Grandpas, whose world of flowery wallpaper echoes our childhoods, and our emotional and collective memories.

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