HELIOPOLIS - under the blue shadow of the sun

Marie Capesius

2017 - Ongoing

Hyères, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France

In the beginning of the 1930s the first naturist village in Europe “Heliopolis” was founded on Île du Levant, an island in the french Mediterranean sea. Since the 1950s, the french military occupies the island. Until today, 90 percent of the island is fenced up and used as a rocket test station.

The photographer Marie Capesius encounters the inhabitants as well as the magic of this place and reflects on the appearance of paradise. Over a period of three years she documents her research within a notebook, which later forms the content of a self-published book presented in 2019, "HELIOPOLIS under the blue shadow of the city of sun." She works with symbols found in nature and retraces stories with the theme of the lost paradise, such as in the story of Adam and Eva. She chooses the medium of black and white analog photography for its timeless character in contrast to the blue images, that are screenshots she produced from youtube videos of the local french marine as they test rockets on the sea at night.

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