Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann | The Tobacco Files

La Salle de bains, Lyon; March 23 to May 4
La Salle de bains presents a solo exhibition by Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann focusing on The Tobacco Files, a long-term project that takes the form of an encyclopaedia of images. The images, currently collected in around a hundred binders, depict, promote, sublimate or bear witness to our societie's connections with tobacco. Whether historical or current images, they appear with a sense of anticipation, like afterimages or already ghostly images. Ad the same time cigarettes are gradually disappearing from the public space while tobacco production and trafficking remain an opaque activity. The Tobacco Files project began with a creative residency at the Secession in Vienna, Austria, and was developed thanks to the Franklin Azzi endowment fund in Paris, where Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann was given a residency and an exhibition in 2023 as part of the "Les MAGNE‐ Tiques" program (supported by the Direction des Affaires Culturelles Île-de-France, Paris-Île de France Capitale Économique and Beaux Arts Consulting).

« And everything intertwines as the images fade in and out: political reflections, biographical memories, dramatic climaxes, daily rituals. The spectre of Edward Bernays, precursor of modern mass mental manipulation, author of Propaganda (1928) and Freud's nephew, who developed a dazzling marketing strategy at the beginning of the last century to encourage women to smoke as a means of emancipation; seeing in this enterprise, with its false feminist overtones, the possibility of doubling the number of consumers. This is the story of an industry made up of monopolies, colonisations, exploitation and extraction. The wisps that seep into dreams, even years after one have quit, the satisfaction, the frenzy of an impulse. (...) Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann sketches out a kind of archive of the links between pleasure and annihilation, interweaving paradoxes with the complexity of an era ».
Lou Ferrand, extract from the text of the exhibition The Tobacco Files, Franklin Azzi Endowment Fund (Paris), 2023.
March 28, 2024