Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Grégoire Pujade-Lauraine A Perpetual Season


One of the stand-out books that I came across at the Melbourne Photobook Festival was Grégoire Pujade-Lauraine's elegant and beautifully realised work A Perpetual Season. The book presents an imagined city that we have all encountered, in fragments here and there.
It's seems a hostile place and its occupants appear to be in a dream. There is much to contemplate in this profound work.

A Perpetual Season lays a photographic trail through a dream-like city, offering glimpses into a network of spaces that loom as silent witnesses to some forgotten order. Recurring concrete shapes and perplexed human beings punctuate the journey with a faintly elegiac tone which conjures up an inverted Arcadia, illuminated by the hopes and visions of a bygone era. This is fertile ground for a series of unsettling encounters which act as cryptic symptoms of an ominous presence – a reversed staircase, an unreachable doorway, people frozen in precarious gestures, disturbed conversations.
This 'perpetual season' alludes to a self-contained pictorial space, and the naturalistic approach embedded in such photographic practice is a guise for the construction of a world that ultimately belies its own familiarity. The formal and thematic echoes running throughout the sequence can be viewed as transverse lines drawn within an apparent chaos, connecting discarded buildings with bewildered passers-by, decaying natural arrangements with enigmatic corridors. As each is seemingly doubled or reincarnated, they condense in this peculiar scope of light and space, like an ever-returning cross-section of a global cycle.

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