Water castle is the literal translation from the French château d'eau and is much more poetic than water reservoir. There is a poetic water castle in Toulouse on the shore of the river Garonne. It is simply called Château d'Eau, and it is a centre for photography - and it was the first of its kind when it was opened for the public in 1974.
On my first evening in Toulouse I was invariably drawn to this tower of light standing across the imposing bridge Pont Neuf. I returned there at daytime to see an exhibition that I had been looking forward to seeing when I was planning my weekend in Toulouse: Doisneau - Dieuzaide, une amitié heureuse.
The space in the Château d'Eau is narrow, but as I arrived at the opening, I managed to have moments alone in the basement with Doisneau and Dieuzaide. It felt intimate, and I was glad not to have somebody else breathing down my neck whilst I was being transferred into the worlds of Doisneau and Dieuzaide in France of the 1960ies and 1970ies.
My old "friend" Robert Doisneau whom I have written about in my blog article "Doisneau and the central market" and who for most is closely connected to a romantic Paris in black and white was exhibited together with Jean Dieuzaide, the founder of the gallery, and a fellow photographer. In 1974 Dieuzaide dedicated the first exhibition in the gallery to his friend Doisneau. This time both men were exhibited together.
Doisneau and Dieuzaide were contemporaries, the former was living in Paris, the ladder in Toulouse. One became and remains world famous, the other is still to be discovered by many of us. The world that they saw through their camera lenses is fascinating, occasionally shocking and never boring. Have a look for yourself!