La Fabrique du pré – The making of a meadow

Photographies Cyrille Weiner, Nanterre, 2004-2012

Prix Lucien Hervé et Rodolf Hervé 2012 – Rodolphe Hervé et Lucien Hervé Prize 2012

De l’urbain à l’humain

Ce lit de verdure n’inspire pas l’abandon mais l’attente. Surplombant un échangeur immense, cerclé de tours, il est une butée végétale contre laquelle l’axe historique de l’ouest parisien s’est rompu. Sur ce bout d’autoroute retourné à l’état sauvage, les pierres ne racontent plus rien. Elles laissent advenir l’inouï. Sensible aux interactions du naturel et du construit, Cyrille Weiner interprète cet espace dans sa force de destruction et de renouveau : les poussées de sève font craquer le bitume, le sable fluide détruit des murs de soutènement, les plantes s’agrippent aux parapets de l’autoroute. Tout communique, déborde et se déploie sur ces infrastructures qui façonnent un paysage à la mesure de l’homme. La friche, avec ses emmêlements de plantes, convertit le territoire en une zone libre, ouverte à de multiples usages. Comme rescapés de villes où triomphent le repli sur soi, la propriété privée et l’isolement, quelques hommes reconquièrent ici leur temps, leur énergie et leur imaginaire. Cyrille Weiner observe cette réappropriation concrète de la friche, ces corps et mains qui bêchent, plantent, défrichent et fabriquent le pré. Mais cette réalité première est filtrée, transcrite en une fiction de fin du monde et de paradis perdu. Dans la friche au dessein suspendu, les repères de temps se troublent, ces hommes ressemblent aux premiers et aux derniers.

Marguerite Pilven, octobre 2012

From urban to human

This bed of greenery inspires not abandon but an awaiting. Overhanging a vast motorway junction, circled by towers, it is a vegetal stop against which the historical axe of the Parisian West comes to break. On this section of motorway returned to a state of wilderness, the stones tell no more stories. They allow the unexpected to come into being. Sensitive to the interactions of the natural and the man-made, Cyrille Weiner interprets the space in its force of both destruction and renewal: spurts of sap crack through the cement, fluid sands destroy the supporting walls, plants grip onto the motorway parapets. Everything communicates, overflows, spreading out over the infrastructures that shape the landscape to the measure of man. The wasteland, with its tangles of plants, converts the territory into a free-zone, open to a multitude of uses. As if escaped from towns in which introversion, private property and isolation triumph, a few men here seem to reconquer their own time, energy and imagination. Cyrille Weiner observes this concrete reappropriation of the wasteland, the bodies and hands that dig, plant, weed and hence create the field. But this primary reality is filtered, transcribed into a fiction of the end-of-the-world and a paradise lost. In this wasteland of designs suspended, usual bearings of time become blurred ; these men come to resemble both the first and the last.  

Marguerite Pilven, October 2012

Prix Lucien Hervé et Rodolf Hervé 2012

Créé à l’initiative de Judith et Lucien Hervé, ce prix de la photographie couronne le travail d’un jeune photographe professionnel, en mémoire de leur fils Rodolf, photographe.

L’École Spéciale d’Architecture de Paris est partenaire du Prix Lucien Hervé et Rodolf Hervé depuis 2004. Elle accueille l’exposition de Cyrille Weiner et Ildi Hermann dans la Galerie Spéciale.

The Lucien Hervé and Rodolf Hervé Prize

Created upon the initiative of Judith and Lucien Hervé, in memory of their son Rodolf, himself a photographer, the prize recognizes the work of a professional photographer, according to the objectives originally established by its founders.

The École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, is a privileged partner of the Lucien Hervé and Rodolf Hervé Prize and currently hosts the Cyrille Weiner and Ildi Hermann exhibition, in the Galerie Spéciale.
Exposition du 16 novembre au 7 décembre dans le cadre du Mois de La photo à Paris

Galerie Spéciale, Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, 254 Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris




Installation views, Galerie Spéciale, Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, Paris, 2012

Domingo Milella : A view from Castelmezzano

Outer edges of some buried age. A view from Castelmezzano: rupestrian cultures in the Mediterranean region and beyond

Castelmezzano, Basilicata, 2010

Castellaneta, Basilicata, 2010

On the 3rd of September in Castelmezzano, Italy, opened Outer edges of some buried age. An exhibition curated by Chiara Capodici and Fiorenza Pinna featuring the work of photographer Domingo Milella. The exhibition takes place at Palazzo Coiro, an old aristocratic palace in the centre of the village, and it is visible only by daylight.

Pietrapertosa, Basilicata, 2010

Outer edges develops around the concept of landscape, identity and memory referencing Pier Paolo Pasolini’s notion of Post-history as the acknowledgement of an inevitable clash of ancient and modern times in a society that is slowly losing any sense of community and belonging.

“I am a force of the Past. My love lies only in tradition. I come from the ruins, the churches, the altarpieces, the villages abandoned in the Appennines or foothills of the Alps where my brothers once lived […] Or I see the twilights, the mornings over Rome, the Ciociaria, the world, as the first acts of Post-history to which I bear witness, for the privilege of recording them from the outer edge of some buried age.”

This site-specific exhibition moves from a study on the identity of the village of Castelmezzano and reaches out to the countries and the populations that settled along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea—Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Greece—and Mexico in search of territories marked by a similar ancient history and cultural experience of the landscape.

Acitrezza, Sicily, 2009

In his journey Domingo Milella explores and compares the different expressions of a sense of belonging and community which leaves a legacy that, impressed on the stones, determines the face of the landscape. Territory and identity are considered part of a collective history and memory that connect these cultures throughout the globe.

Domingo selects specific places and stories following a fil rouge that takes him on a historical pilgrimage from Castelmezzano to Mexico via the regions of Southern Italy and the Anatolia. The images of the rupestrian settlements in Phrygia, Cappadocia, Giza, Polignano, or Mexico City all reveal how deeply intertwined the relationship between man and nature has been over the years.

Sanctuary-Monastery, Phrygia, Turkey, 2011

Soganli, Turkey, 2011

Valley of Ilhara, Turkey, 2011

The Arabs took advantage of the natural architecture of Pietrapertosa to preserve the safety of their community. They used to take refuge in the hole of the mountain that overlooks the town—after which Pietrapertosa was named—to observe without being seen. Similarly, the image of the Tomb of Midas depicts the encounter of nature with archaic and modern civilisation. The tomb, as a symbol of the myth, is carved in the stone while a person holding a digital camera stands in front of it photographing the monument. Lastly, Mexico City which is represented as a crossroad of three different cultures—the Aztec, the precolonial and the modern state—all of which indelibly imprinted their own identity onto the face of the city.

The interventions of man shaped the landscape the same way as the landscape influenced the development and the identity of the society.

Elisa Badii

Domingo Milella, Outer edges of some buried age. A view from Castelmezzano: rupestrian cultures in the Mediterranean region and beyond

Until October 3, 2011

Palazzo Coiro

Tlatelolco, Square of the Three Cultures, Mexico City, 2004

Giza, Egypt, 2009

All images Courtesy of Domingo Milella and Brancolini Grimaldi

The exhibition is an initiative of The View From Lucania, a project devoted to the South of Italy based in Basilicata. TVFL in collaboration with the township of Castelmezzano, which has financed the exhibition and the whole project.

thanks to La lettre de la photographie

Hannah Darabi

Unreal City, 2011
artist book, cardboard, 29×19 cm
Inkjet prints
20 pages
Unreal City is a series of photographs of construction projects in various countries such as, Iran, France, United States, Germany, etc. This series was formed during the trips in order to find something known in new landscapes.Originally from Tehran, I found abroad the opportunity to reactivate the imaginary associated with this city: a construction site.

Playing a contradictory role in the urban scene, constructions constitute both signs of construction and ruin, a silent off-screen of the city, something that is hidden, how the change of a scene is usually hidden in the theatre. Therefore it is important for me to produce an image of a construction as it is, I eliminated the geographical references.  The construction as a degree zero of the architecture, however, an existing multitude of signs subsist them as singular urban forms.

Hannah Darabi

Le grand format photographique dans l’exposition « Signs of Life » (1976)

Olivier Lugon

études photographiques n°25 mai 2010

Depuis les années 1980, l’agrandissement des formats en photographie a été fortement associé à l’accession du médium à la reconnaissance artistique et à une forme contemporaine du tableau. Cette identification de la grande taille à un supplément d’art n’est pas sans paradoxe. Pendant un demi-siècle, le tirage géant a précisément représenté le contraire de l’art – une image faite pour la communication de masse, aussi immédiate qu’éphémère, moins une œuvre d’auteur qu’une production collective sans valeur marchande ou symbolique propre. À la fin des années 1970 encore, quand certains artistes, photographes ou architectes recommencent à s’intéresser à lui, c’est précisément comme émanation des mass media, de la publicité ou de la décoration commerciale, avant que l’entrée même de ces formes médiatiques dans le champ artistique ne les transforme en attributs du tableau. L’exposition “Signs of Life” à Washington en 1976, collaboration des architectes Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown et Steven Izenour avec le photographe Stephen Shore, constitue un exemple significatif d’un tel déplacement.

Since the 1980s, larger photographic formats have been closely associated with the artistic recognition of photography and have been equated with a contemporary form of the painting, or ‘tableau.’ This identification of large sizes with additional artistic value is paradoxical. For a half-century, oversize prints had epitomized the antithesis of art – an image designed for mass communication, as ephemeral as it was instantaneous, less the work of an author than a collective production without commercial or symbolic value of its own. It was still as outgrowths of the mass media, advertising, or commercial decoration that some artists, photographers, or architects took new interest in them in the late 1970s, before the introduction of these media-related forms into the field of art translated their characteristics into attributes of the painting. The exhibition Signs of Life, held in Washington in 1976, organized collaboratively by the architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Steven Izenour, and the photographer Stephen Shore, provides a significant example of this shift.

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Avenue Jenny, Nanterre (2001-)

Cyrille Weiner

C-print, 80×80 cm

C-print, 80×80 cm

C-print, 80×80 cm

C-print, 80×80 cm

C-print, 80×80 cm

Yves Bélorgey

Dalle de Bobigny Magic Cinema 2009, huile sur toile 150 x 150 cm

Depuis une quinzaine d’années, Yves Bélorgey parcourt les banlieues des grandes métropoles, de Marseille à Mexico, en passant par Varsovie ou Istanbul, pour en ramener des peintures et dessins de grand format d’immeubles HLM.
Les représentations de paysages urbains d’Yves Bélorgey, portent un regard critique sur les édifices de l’architecture moderne des années 60. Il les représente dans une frontalité brutale et exhibe l’organisation sociale qui conditionne le système urbain des banlieues. Ces barres d’immeubles sont représentées sur le mode du réalisme sans pour autant chercher à dupliquer la photographie, tout en excluant les préjugés sociaux dont ils sont d’ordinaire affublés. Le regard n’est à la fois ni pessimiste, ni optimiste, parfois imprégné d’une certaine nostalgie.
Les “œuvres” architecturales collectives dont on parle ici sont significatives d’une standardisation. Yves Bélorgey les aborde sur le mode documentaire, selon toutes leurs potentialités comme autant de cas particuliers et les désigne comme les lieux de formation du “corps social”.
Il observe ces immeubles comme les monuments d’un projet social révolu, comme les représentants des ruines d’une certaine époque dont l’ambition –aujourd’hui remise en question- était d’offrir un confort minimum pour tous. Il envisage la peinture comme un enjeu politique et lui donne un sens militant : réaliser des peintures d’immeubles signifie travailler le nombre, la densité et le paysage actuel de la ville ; c’est une façon de faire le pont entre le tableau et l’immeuble, deux œuvres autonomes isolées.

En 2003, Yves Bélorgey réalisait un ensemble de tableaux en hommage à Jean Renaudie, et s’attaquait ainsi pour la première fois aux immeubles d’un architecte « reconnu ». C’est alors l’occasion pour l’artiste de développer de nouveaux éléments picturaux dans sa peinture. Les particularités de ces architectures lui permettent d’intégrer des inserts dans la composition de ses tableaux, faisant ainsi se confronter perspectives fuyantes et vues frontales.
Pour sa seconde exposition à la galerie Xippas, il présente un ensemble de tableaux issus de repérages dans la banlieue de Londres. Les architectures, celles de Alison et Peter Smithson ou Alan Forsyth et Gordon Benson entre autres, ont été choisies pour leur statut comparable à celles de Renaudie, car ayant assimilé la critique de l’architecture rationaliste, en s’attachant à concevoir de nouveaux modes d’habitat.

Rue Parmentier a Montreuil 2009, huile sur toile, 150 x 150 cm
Rue du President Wilson a Montreuil 2010, huile sur toile, 120 x 120 cm
Vue de la rue des Sorins Bagnolet 2008-2009, huile sur toile, 150 x 150 cm
Ashiyahama (3) Kobe 2009-2010, huile sur toile, 105 x 105 cm

Cyrille Weiner

“La valeur des villes se mesure au nombre des lieux qu’elles réservent à l’improvisation” Siegfried Kracauer, Rues de Berlin et d’ailleurs, 1964

Le ban des utopies, 2007

album japonais Moleskine, 60 pages pliées en accordéon, tirages jet d’encres pigmentaires, tampons d’encre

édition limitée à soixante exemplaires, pour Cheminements 2008 Le paysage comme terrain de jeux, Centre de photographie de Lectoure

Jüergen Bergbauer

untitled (parterre de pieces coupees I)
100 cm x 125 cm (40” x 50”) lambdaprint on aluminium / diasec face matt, 2004

untitled (parterre de pieces coupees II)
100 cm x 125 cm (40” x 50”) lambdaprint on aluminium / diasec face matt, 2004

untitled (escalier monumental I)
100 cm x 140 cm (40” x 55”) lambdaprint on aluminium / diasec face matt, 2004

untitled (orangerie I)
100 cm x 110 cm (40” x 43”) lambdaprint on aluminium / diasec face matt, 2004

Jardin a la francaise

The formal vocabulary of the Baroque as a stand-in for an idea of history and its connected values. If Andre LeNotre, the architect of the gardens of Vaux le Vicomte and Versailles would present a design for a garden today, he would most certainly do this with form.z or any other 3-D graphic software. Detailed studies of the various elements might look like these pictures. Turned in a perspective, that simulates the point of view of a 3.50 meters tall spectator, isolated, and placed on a beige field of colour, suggesting the sandy ground. Illumination settings on ”diffused”and ”omni’.

Geert Goiris

What I try to seize upon in my work might best be described as traumatic realism, assigning to the word “trauma” its surgical meaning: Of a breaking point, not in the psychological sense of coping with an unresolved past, but as a short transitory glimpse of another reality.
My images refer to familiar fictions.Simultaneously, they register authentic locations. The fusing of fact and fiction is precisely the fracture that I intend to conserve. I try to preserve viewpoints in all their perplexity. The first acquaintance with a place is important: the strong impression that interferes with a number of stored-up but unpronounced images from our collective memory.
Everything I photograph is real, unlikely as it may seem. I don’t manipulate the photographs, but push their insinuating capacities forward by carefully choosing the moment, framing and viewpoint. To me, a picture is successful when the representative and the narrative elements alternate.
For the past five years, I have been working on this series of images to be compiled in a book called Resonance. These shots are a kind of derivate of media-images: cinema, television or other photographs.
The individual works are connected with each other in a cryptic narrative, like a fabricated memory. The series functions as a distant memory, which is not specific. Rather than bringing me back to the places they depict, these pictures remind me of a way of seeing.
I discover all the images “by accident”. Often there is a central motive that points at human presence, but this is not a formula. Somehow I try to install a doubt into the notion of the sublime landscape by imposing an anomaly onto it. Often there is an allusion to catastrophe, a calamity or disaster: some final event to put the materialistic myth of progress in perspective.
These images are mainly set in landscapes, found at the outer reaches of society, touching on the confines of civilization. These places have a face, a particular physiognomy that bears traces of a bygone or human presence.
By bringing together various regions and climates, a mental landscape emerges. The significance of the location shifts from reality to the realm of ideas.
I do not aspire to make a reportage in the sense of imparting something essential about the country or area where the picture was taken. On the contrary, often only minor details such as the relief or the vegetation are left as vague indicators for orientation. The places I visit are obviously of capital importance, because they are all unique. But I choose not to play out the specific. I try to level intrinsic geographical, climatological and sociological qualities into a global mental image, where different worlds seamlessly fuse their various characteristics and externalise a feeling of anxiety, foreboding and fear. Together they demonstrate a detached yet intense association with my surroundings.
I often use extremely long exposure times, allowing the effect of blur to render the specific time frame indistinct. I trade the moment for state of being. Instead of using a camera to cut a slice of time, I use it to gather evidence of duration, without a clear “before” and “after”. In order to undermine the attributed “realism”, I make it evident that this is not a reality: these are images of a reality.

In All due intent, catalogue Manifesta 5, 2004, pp.156-157.

Geert Goiris


Thanks to Maureen Auriol – mentions obligatoires

Guy Debord and Situationist the Theory of the Derive, and Pyschogeography.

I recently came across the essay “The Poetics of the Derive” written by Vincent Kaufmann. Not being that familiar with Debord’s Derive, and only slightly informed of its predecessor from the Surrealist Andre Breton and his walks through Paris, it quickly raised many questions to tackle. Most specifically the idea of looking at the early photographic works of Eugene Atget, and his systematic walks through Paris cataloging the ephemeral Paris of his time. One which was being demolished to make way for the Modern streets and boulevards that Debord and the Situationist would later lament in the same manner Atget did before. Yet, how might this theoretical construct of the Derive apply to the large amount of contemporary urbanscape photography found in the United States. And even more interesting the actual activity the photographer performs in order to find these locations.


Debord’s Derive is not simple a walk through the streets of the city, of chance encounters. Instead one must move rapidly and decisively through the urban space, with intention. When possible the practice should not be done alone, but in groups of two or three. They should be aware of their surroundings, of the “…ecological analysis of the absolute or relative character of fissures in the urban network, of the role of microclimates, of distinct neighborhoods with no relation to administrative boundaries, and above all of the dominating action of centers of attraction…” (link to essay) Thus the most talented photographers who’s oeuvre includes the investigation of the urbanscape. The walk itself, the interaction of operator, camera, and site breaks down the normal relationship we have with public urban spaces. Their activity alone is the Derive.

Breaking the rules of theory to return to Eugen Atget melancholic catalog of a ghostly Paris that is no longer. His photographs present to us the sites slated to be demolished, of the concrete reality of the demolition not just of squares and houses, but of the intricate means and subtle variations of the daily social realities created and maintained through public works and layout.

The pyschogeography. Atget’s photographs of a forgotten urbanscapes now stand like so many rectangular ghost, an archive of ephemera, of power structures that have morphed, shifted, become temporal and translucent. They function as nostalgic tombstones, racked nicely in a file, viewed sequentially, ordered and precise. Are Atget’s photographs any less powerful than they were in his time period? Or does the contemporary viewer see them only as quaint post cards, a romantic bygone era of a dirtier, grimmer, Paris leaving out the pychogeography of that site and the site that will replace it?

If Atget’s photographs have lost their power to be anything more than romantic nostalgic post cards and coffee table books, then what of the contemporary photographers working within the urbanscape. Their photographs present tangible realities, visual stand ins of the power structures, specifically in the United States. Yet is the mere representation of these sites enough, does it go far enough to instigate more than just chance encounters for the viewer looking at the photographs. And what of the Modernist aesthetic formal qualities laid over these sites. Atget’s Paris is grimy, dark, moody. Contemporary urbanscape photographs are made to be as beautiful as they are not in reality. The photographers activity of finding these sites is the derive, the photograph itself is the pyschogeography, the questioning. But unlike the gritty ghost of Atget’s Paris, their contemporary formal presentation, high gloss, bright colours, fends off the questions raised by their derive. Instead the viewer is left with one word, nostalgia. The photograph becomes a representation of the United States political landscape and the power structures in play as it slowly turns and morphs. Instead of critical action and engagement, we mourn. The United States is changing and morphing its political and social power structures while its identity as super power declines. Its intial status symbols and sturctures that came to represent power have shifted, take on new meaning. Like so many tombstones the contemporary photographic formal aesthetic and their beautiful rendering of the dynamic and shifting urbanscape moots any possible critical interaction. Instead we are presented with lovely nostalgia, and pretty memento mori.

Grant W. Ray

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