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Luc Adolphe


The palm sleeps, the palmtree dies.

This exhibition speaks about the inexorable advance of the coast line under the effect of global warming: this strange foreshore, the last frontier. I was very lucky to remain a consenting prisoner in a beach house in Brazil, during the long months of the first confinement. I photographed my horizon there, a thin strip of sand a few kilometers long, bounded by two estuaries and a palm grove. Every week, I discovered on our beach one or more palm trees passed from life to death.

The photographs are organized into five series, in a temporal progression that goes from Lives to Lives, then Fall, Uprooting, Lying and finally Sanded down. Lives to Lives is the land-sea face-to-face, the shadow cast of the tree on the ocean. Falling, the palm leaves the living and vibrant verticality.

Uprooting is the loss of the link with Mother Earth. Lying down is the beginning of mute and mortuary horizontality. Sanded down is the burial of these living totems which, a few weeks earlier, dusted the sky of overseas with the liking of the malignant trade winds.

How not to see metaphors with our human condition!

Trained as an architect, I carry within me the significance of the motif, an acute awareness of space, light and matter. My photos are very structured. I apprehend the photographic medium in an approach close to architectural design: not starting from the blank sheet, but from the constraints of the scene to turn them into opportunities. The essence of my work lies in the way the subject dissolves in space to abstraction. I am a fierce supporter of “Low Tech”: saying a lot with little. The best way to the concentration of the idea on itself. My work is part of the long term, if not of timelessness. I seek to produce in my photographs a timeless universe, far from the idea of the decisive and fleeting moment. Finally, I attach great importance to storytelling. Being able to tell a story is something that has always fascinated me. Thus, my photographs, even the most abstract, refer to deeply human and existential stories, such as loneliness, the fragility of life, the fear of death.

Exhibition presented at Espace Points de Vue, in Lauzerte, France, between May 6 and June 14, 2023.


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