• Patrick BRUNET

The secret laboratory

It’s the summer of 2013, and University of Maryland researcher Timothy Koeth receives a mysterious uranium cube in the post, accompanied by the message : « Taken from the German nuclear reactor that Hitler tried to build. A gift from Ninninger ». Timothy Koeth doesn’t know who this Ninninger is, but decides to investigate. Upon reconstructing its history, he comes to this terrifying conclusion : the cube is supposedly from a secret laboratory of the Third Reich installed during World War II under Haigerloch Castle in Germany.

This laboratory really existed and was dismantled in 1945. Today it houses the Atomkeller Museum which is dedicated to German atomic research. It’s a creepy story. It reminds me of the dark hours suffered by my parents during the Occupation. A painful episode in their lives that they have never stopped talking about. The images I’m showing of this laboratory are deeply imbued with this family history. Photography often reveals, without us realising it, a dark part of ourselves because we exorcise our fears and anxieties via its medium.

Patrick BRUNET

I was born in 1958 in Valence in the Drôme where I discovered photography at the age of 15. I have been a professor of mechanical engineering at a technical college since 1988. I am a graduate of the university of Grenoble (master’s degree in materials science and technology and master’s degree in technology) and hold an agrégation of industrial engineering sciences (mechanical engineering option). I first exhibited at the Contrejour gallery in Paris in 1992 (1st prize of the Angénieux foundation), then at the Salon International de la Recherche Photographique de Royan in 1994 (2nd prize), before putting this activity on hold (for twenty years) to devote myself to my teaching career. In 2019 and 2020 I was preselected for the Boutographies of Montpellier. In 2019, I exhibited «outside the walls» at the Boutographies, a series that tell a little-known story of the Third Reich.