Vincent Fournier – Archives of the future: machines, technology and other modern myths

Vincent Fournier, Subsonic Wind Tunnel
by Dario Orlandi

We accept reality easily, perhaps because we sense that nothing is real.
(Jorge Luis Borges)

What distinguishes art is that it happens outside of what we already know.
(Eric Booth)

When scientific popularisers try to explain the four-dimensional space, so far from our perception of reality, they often use the metaphor of the point on the plane: just as a point in a two-dimensional space fails to conceive the third dimension, in the same way it is very difficult think outside the mental categories that organize the story and the perception of the world.

NASA LEH Space Shuttle Pressure helmet (Launch-Entry), used by Charlie Bolden, Johnson Space Center, Houston, [NASA], U.S.A., 2017, from the serie “Space Project” © Vincent Fournier
Immersed for over one hundred and fifty years in a techno-centric mythology that has radically changed the perception of his position in space and time, modern man finds it hard to see the philosophical limits – even before methodology – of the conceptual envelope of contemporary narratives.

Vincent Fournier’s work shakes the trust in the technological utopia thanks to images that create a surreal suspension between existing and possible, developed through the photographic exploration of potential worlds that amplify and challenge the myths of modernity.

The National Museum #3, Brasilia, 2019 © Vincent Fournier

The world of the photographer is a nostalgic future where machine-men, humanoid-machines and hybrid species between the natural and the mechanical manifest themselves in actions, rituals and post-natural forms: the modernist mirages of the architecture of Brasilia, the serialized rituals of the Space Project, the daily bewilderment of the Machine-Man, the surrealist biology of the Post-Natural History trilogy (the Flowers of Flesh, the Bestiary, the Indestructible Heart), are the scenarios in which the photographer’s reflection takes shape, in search of a taxonomy of the possible, an Archive of the Future.

The mental forest of Fournier resounds with the rustles of metal and the synthetic chirps of “creatures in the process of appearing”, irregular guests of a “museum of potential history”.

ASTERAE, Paulisper desiderare, 2013 © Vincent Fournier

In this process of detournement the contradictory suggestion of the photographic medium is strongly revealed: rebellious son of reality, tied to the mother by an irrepressible bond of blood, but with this in continuous dialectical tension. Fournier’s photo-set-ups are a powerful semiotic oxymoron: true as photos of fiction.

In the work of the photographer the two levels coexist, contributing to the creation of a suspension that predicts a remote, possible, ambiguous, utopian cyber-time. Is the archaeology of the future that, overloading the technological present, amplifies it and underlines its unknown: conquest or negation? Fate or loss?

Ergol #11 S1B clean room, Arianespace, Guiana Space Center, Kourou, French Guyana, 2011 from the series “Space Project” © Vincent Fournier


Some images of the Space Project work are part of the large collective exhibition

curated by: Enrico Stefanelli, Chiara Ruberti,
Naima Savioli, Alessia Locatelli, Chiara Dall’Olio,
Alessandro Romanini and Andrea Pacifici

Palazzo delle Esposizioni of the Banca del Monte di Lucca Foundation
Via del Molinetto, Lucca
PHOTOLUX FESTIVAL | 16 November – 8 December 2019

from Mon to Fri: 3:00 – 7:30 pm
Sat and Sun: 10:00 am – 7:30 pm


November 15, 2019

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