His name: Dimitri de Larocque Latour. He has a passion for ruins, castles and old houses. He presents his work:
My style would be close to engravings, and the romantic idea (finding peace among the ruins) that of Sir Simon Marsden, whose book La France hantée (Flammarion, 2006) was a revelation. But this quest began in the eyes of the Dame blanche de l’abbaye de Mortemer (Eure), painted by an ancestor, Jacques de Larocque Latour. The ghost of Mathilde the Empress, benefactress of the place, would return there every full moon night, say the old legends. I spent my childhood under the theurgic eye of this painting, and subsequently, perhaps likened Mathilde to Dante’s Matelda, to the banks of the Eunoé – this river which gives the memory of good things, contrary to Lethe. In short, Mathilde has become the emblem of a wonderful past, the best guide in this journey to the other side of reality.
A monument lives in its past. While visiting such a castle, we discuss with a direct witness. Between the stones, the beams and the moats, everything reflects the glorious times. A microclimate favors enchantments. It’s a dive into the Golden Age, where life is shimmering with colors and feelings, like in tales and legends. A crossroads in the woods, an abandoned fountain, a sunken road,… revives this ancestral dialogue. The landscape becomes a state of mind, an envelope that we open with our inner eye. Each of my photographs evokes the hours of rest where everything is remembered. It prolongs the garden of childhood and the dreams that take us by the hand, lead us beyond the bundles of wood, then drop us at the edge of tall trees. So, shapes, scents, colors… everything blends together and makes a sign. The Image (whose anagram is Magic) is only one stage. Soon it fades. The image is chipped and loses its color – it is burned, by the sun, the moon and your gaze; it is recreated in yourself.
Here are gathered castles full of duels and trials, but also of graces. Legends are the pearls of these castles, given birth to by the salt of stone, – broods of chimerical creatures who fight for their enclosures. Sometimes these unreal forms encroach on our world; perhaps, in one of these photographs, you will find the silhouette of an old dragon, of an enchantress, or of burning hands looking for you for centuries.
Born in 1996, Dimitri de Larocque Latour grew up between the Normandy of the White Ladies and the Vendée of Mélusine, marked by the works of his ancestor, the painter Jacques de Larocque Latour. Through photography, he deepens the mystery of these paintings, continues the quest for the fantastic land. His works were notably exhibited during the Rencontres d’Arles in 2018, at the Abbey of Fontaine-Guérard (Eure) during the summer of 2020, under the title L’Appel de Merlin – Merlin being also his middle name (the beginning of a lead ?), at the National Estate of the Château d’Angers in December 2021, but also in Paris, Nantes, Versailles or Belfort.
Dimitri de Larocque Latour : Châteaux Fantastiques
From February 7 to May 9, 2022.
Château de Carrouges (Orne, Normandy) / National Monuments Center
Upper rooms of the keep (exhibition included in the entrance fee – €6 – of the monument and the visit of the apartments of the castle).
Every day (except May 1): 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m.-4:45 p.m. (6 p.m. from May).
Last admissions at 12 p.m. and 4:20 p.m.
Phone: 02 33 27 20 32