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Vincent Fournier: Brasília, Modernist Utopias

This is the final weekend of Brasília, Modernist Utopias by French photographer Vincent Fournier at Atelier Jespers, presented by our sister gallery Spazio Nobile.

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Vincent Fournier is a French artist who explores significant mythologies of the future: space exploration, utopian architecture, artificial intelligence, living transformation… After being awarded a diploma in both sociology and visual arts, he studies at the National School of Photography in Arles and obtains his diploma in 1997. His works can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York, the Centre Pompidou Paris, the LVMH contemporary Art collection, the Dragonfly Collection in Massignac, the Museum of Fine Arts of Mâcon, Fondation Bullukian in Lyon, the ArtScience Museum in Dublin or the Baccarat Hotel Collection in New-York, among others. This is the final weekend of Brasília, Modernist Utopias by French photographer Vincent Fournier at Atelier Jespers, presented by our sister gallery Spazio Nobile. The show is created in the framework of Brussels Photo Festival. 10 photographs have been carefully selected by Vincent Fournier and Spazio Nobile which works in dialogue with the Modernist interior architecture of Atelier Jespers founded and run by Jean-François Declercq.

In his interview with Christian Larsen for TLmag #31, Vincent Fournier explains: “Brasília is very unique. It’s beautiful and fascinating how this city was designed with the same unified aesthetic. What rigor and madness! It is also a very special case since in just three years, the architect Oscar Niemeyer and the urban planner Lucio Costa, literally created this city in the middle of the desert, which, on the scale of the construction of a city, is instantaneous, like a photo that would immortalize a precise moment. The pilot plan of the city has thus remained unchanged, frozen in time due to its UNESCO World Heritage designation.

Brasilia shows the nostalgia for the golden age of the future of the 60s. It is a modernist temple fossilized in a utopian future that did not take place. My interest in Brasilia also comes from my fascination with myths and stories that question and explore the future, from science to architecture, to technology. All my projects: space exploration, humanoid robots, the transformation of life through technology or even utopian architecture have in common to imagine the future in a historical perspective, as an archaeologist who dates different time strata. It may be the future of the past, or of a future very near, almost parallel to our present, or even of a possible future, a fantasized anticipation. The aesthetics and form of these “futuristic” worlds fascinate me, as do their way of rethinking the boundaries of the possible. I went to Brasília with this idea in mind. When I discovered the city with all those stilt-like columns, I photographed in horizontals only because I had this vision of a “walking city”: a city with legs. I framed the city this way, with a very cinematographic mood, just like a long sequence shoot… I’m playing with the balance of documentary style—with its distance, very frontal, very objective—but at the same time the images are carefully staged. They are composed of course, in a narrative and aesthetical way.”

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