Considered as archeology of the present, Amélie Labourdette‘s first solo exhibition at the Galerie Thierry Bigaignon, Empire of Dust, is a series of photographs representing unfinished architecture, underlining the uncertainty of modern contructions.
Each photograph illustrates human history and it’s social and aesthetic elements through a pockmarked country landscape: concrete giants left unfinished and without future, defined as ecomostri.
This new word describes the plurality of situations referring to these constructions, which are hotels,
motorway sections, bridges, isolated villas, even entire villages. Some buildings are public, others are private, some illegal, with the recurring patterns of our time affected by socio-economic violent unrest. Through their incompleteness, spaces of indeterminacy, that, despite their dimensions, we almost forget the purpose for which they were designed.
These indefinite forms, somewhere in between future ruins and sculptures, paint an urban outline of a present time between dystopia and utopia, defining the revival of history building, over which hovers the specter of the end of a certain kind of world.
Amélie concentrates on her work on these kind of sculptures in their location, in the context where they were built, telling their story and using an opaque light, without shadows, that was inspired by the School of Düsseldorf, with minimalist sculptures of the 60s and the monumental intervention of Land Art, an artistic trend of 1967-68 that manipulated urban landscapes and changing them. She was also inspired by the ruins in German romantic paintings and the “futuristic ruins” of science-fiction novels, where nature triumphs over human constructions. For Amélie these buildings are ruins from our time, like holes in reality, through which we see our own history and development.
Amélie Labourdette was born in 1974, in Nantes, France. She graduated in Fine Art at the National Fine Art School of Nantes, Les Beaux-Arts. She received numerous research and production grants, and her work has been shown in several exhibitions in France and abroad, like in United Kingdom, China, Georgia, Italy, Germany. She is included in public or private collections, and in 2016, Amelie won the Sony World Photography Awards in the category Architecture with this photographic series Empire of Dust.