“Artek is an island out of time where a singular form of “liberal communism” has been introduced, where you pay a high price for artificial happiness for children who get to spend a summer both living outside of real time and immersing themselves in a past they never knew and which was planning a perfect world for them.
Artek settles the teenagers into a space, into a time and into operations which separate them from the real world; here they can escape from contingency and are allowed to express their doubts, identities, contradictions and desires.
This camp is a special place because of the approach of a time of life which fascinates Claudine Doury and she attempts to capture it in her images. In this dream setting, living out a story which frees them from their everyday lives, boys and girls allow themselves to indulge in the vital demands of their age: they play and do not play, they take on roles which help them to find out what they are – chaotic in their desires and impulses – rather than giving themselves an image. It is this fragility, these apparent contradictions and these obvious surrenders which are checked off, recorded and catalogued here. The light is natural, the colours are delicate and free of artifice, the situations are immediately comprehensible, and the overall effect is both seductive and mysterious.”