In the sequel to Remains of Empire, where he froze the ruins of the French colonial empire, photographer Thomas Jorion offers with Veduta a dive into an Italy of another time.
Palaces, gardens, masserias, summer resorts, the photographer has crisscrossed Italy from north to south for nearly ten years to find these mysterious and silent boxes for which nobody cares anymore. The grandeur and the architectural splendor of these rich residences of the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries thus persist by the prism of the photographer’s gaze. These images, so meditative, photographed with a large format camera, invite us to an Italian journey, a grand tour.
Time is suddenly stretched, without landmarks. There is a distortion of the present through these empty places, were time stopped, out of all agitation. Nature invariably takes up her rights in these timeless places inhabited by this presence of absence. The vegetation then pushes the stones with its roots, models a new face, often more wild and enigmatic, but equally fascinating.
The closed shutters of a ballroom let the dust dance in the last rays of the sun and on the pendants of an old chandelier; a frescoed room where the nymphs of an ancient Areopagus look down at us with their superb smell of ferns and aging wood … Everything contributes to a sweet romantic dream.
In our societies under pressure, for profitability and optimization of every moment, Thomas Jorion takes the time and tells us through his silent pictures other stories. He questions us about our relationship to life and time. These deserted places where man was but is no longer, question the spectator as an inevitable mise en abîme, are we the authors, the actors of this abandonment? Are we witnesses of our past or facing up to what will happen?
Like the vanities of modern times, memento mori, Thomas Jorion’s photographs relentlessly underlie the ephemeral and the fragility of human existence.
Thomas Jorion, Veduta
Feb 07 – April 06 2019
Galerie Esther Woerdehoff
36 rue Falguière
75015 Paris – France