In May 2022, Olivier Metzger was welcomed in residence in Soorts-Hossegor (Landes) to create a photographic archive of the Landes at night.
Between midnight and 4 a.m., he braved the dune, the pine forest and the towns, guided by the orange halo of the lampposts, communicated with the salt, that of the spray spewed out by the ocean and that of the sodium light bulbs, photogenic but so greedy in energy that coastal towns are gradually replacing them with LEDs.
Our nights are changing color: ten years ago, Hollywood filmmakers demanded that the public lighting of Los Angeles be classified as historical heritage – in vain.
It is not a question of regretting the light pollution, but of fixing without nostalgia the poetry of this decor in the middle of its fugue.
Over the course of his nocturnal wanderings, Olivier Metzger has therefore noted an imprint of this moment of change, capturing these landscapes both natural and artificial where the last “fluorescent balloons” float, like the setting of a dystopia where a few rare silhouettes float , who continue to surf, to slide in an extinguished, evaporated world.
It seems that the dune has buried the city, that a sandstorm has dissipated the last inhabitants of the coast. Between documentary and fiction, this work constitutes the first stage of a major radiography of the French night, which continued this summer in Lyon and Bordeaux, for the National Library of France.
Olivier Metzger’s photographs track down the enigma of the dark hours, the “survival of fireflies” in the urban space and ultimately draw in fine an archeology of light.
Olivier Metzger : SODIUM Landes de nuit
From October 7 to November 5, 2022
Art center Troisième Session (Soorts-Hossegor, Landes)