At the dawn of the twenty-first century, following an unknown event, mankind disappears from the planet. Nature gradually regains its rights over urban areas, giving birth to a new landscape.
When visiting the temples of Angkor, I was fascinated by the way nature had reclaimed the site. At the time of their splendour, the temples of Angkor were probably as imposing as are today’s gigantic buildings, modern man’s super-structures, our skyscrapers; the headquarters of our multinationals, where man affirms his domination over nature, reflecting his need to repel and control the natural environment, imposing an ultra-coded, highly controlled mineral world, designed and urbanized, often beautiful and quite pretentious.
At a time when we have become aware of the fragility of nature, and are increasingly concerned about ecology, global warming, and the future of the planet, I wondered how all these man-made super-structures would evolve in time. Angkor is sublimely poetic, overgrown by the forces of nature and evoking a long lost human civilisation….why not Dubai, Shanghai, New York, Rome, Paris next ?… What will become of these urban landscapes, these megacities, this civilisation of ours, now possibly at the height of its strength, but one day vowed to disappear, as did the Mayans or the Khmers ?
This is by no means a pessimistic end-of-the-world type vision. On the contrary, it is the vision of a world that is quite idyllic, a new-found Garden of Eden, full of life, colours, shapes and poetry, where the freedom and unpredictability of nature has supplanted the hierarchy of angles and organized spaces.
The starting point is a city I photographed where one clearly recognizes an iconic contemporary building that reflects man’s power over nature. I then rework the image like I would a painting, digitally, I play with colour, shadows, textures, focus, perspectives, I add trees, animals, plants, industrial wrecks… I add all kinds of elements photographed during previous travels, that come to feed the new world I explore.