The trilogy Les murs ne parlent pas (The walls don’t speak) is the result of a three-year dialog between the photographer Jean-Robert Dantou, and an interdisciplinary Social Sciences team coordinated by the anthropologist, Florence Weber.
The photographer set up his studio in various institutions (psychiatric nursing homes, private clinics, psychiatric hospitals) as well as beyond their walls, working directly with patients, friends, family and caregivers on images which mean something to them.
In the first part of the trilogy, Objets sous contrainte, Jean-Robert Dantou puts into perspective the usual representations of madness, with the idea that photography, by always putting forward the moments of crisis and never the everyday life, often portrays monsters and rarely human beings.
The second part, Psychadascalies, reflects on the alleged appearance of madness through a series of portraits in which patients and caregivers of a psychiatric nursing home are portrayed without distinction.
The third section, Hôpital Bellevue is an essay combining photography and writing to question the limits of what can be photographed inside a closed psychiatric unit.