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Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre
© Jules Hidrot
Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre
Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Country: France

Marchand (b.1981) and Meffre (b.1987) live and work in Paris. Initially pursuing photography individually, they met online in 2002 and started working together with the beginning of their Detroit project in 2005. Steidl published The Ruins of Detroit in 2010. A second printing is planned for later this year. They are currently completing their Gunkanjima book, also to be published by Steidl, and they continue to work on a project documenting American theaters that have either fallen into decay or been transformed entirely. Their work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, The British Journal of Photography, Time Magazine, amongst others.

(Source: Edwynn Houk Gallery)

About Theaters (2005-Ongoing):
In the early 20th century, following the development of the entertainment industry, hundreds of theaters were built across North America. Major entertainment firms and movie studios commissioned specialized architects to build grandiose and extravagant auditoriums.

From the 60's, TV, multiplexes and urban crisis made them obsolete. During the following decades, these theaters were either modernized, transformed into adult cinemas or they closed, one after the other; many of them were simply demolished.

About Gunkanjima (2008-2012):
In the South China Sea, 15 kilometers off the southwest coast of Nagasaki among the thousands of verdant landmasses that surround Japan, lies a mysterious island. With the geometric silhouette of a dark gray hull, perforated by hundreds of small windows, the island resembles a battleship. As one moves closer, approaching by sea, the figure takes shape again and the ghost ship turns into a block of concrete surrounded by a high wall on which waves crash - the island looks like a Japanese version of Alcatraz. Only 40 years ago, this tiny island was home to one of the most remarkable mining towns in the world and maintained the highest population density in the world.

During the wave of industrialisation in the nineteenth century, a coal seam was discovered on the tiny Hashima island. In 1890 the Mitsubishi Corporation opened a mine on the island. For decades coal production sustained Japan's modernisation and helped establish its position as an industrialised nation and imperial power. Workers settled on the island and the population increased. Mine slag was used to expand the surface of the colony; piling up on itself like an ant hill. The small mining town quickly became an autonomous modern settlement (with apartment buildings, a school, hospital, shrine, retail stores and restaurants) which mimicked the other settlements on the Nippon archipelago. One multi-storied concrete apartment block with its brutal and rational style followed another, until the tiny island became the most densely populated place in the world per square meter with over 5,000 inhabitants in the 1950s.

About The ruins of Detroit (2005-2010):
At the end of the XIXth Century, mankind was about to fulfill an old dream. The idea of a fast and autonomous means of displacement was slowly becoming a reality for engineers all over the world. Thanks to its ideal location on the Great Lakes Basin, the city of Detroit was about to generate its own industrial revolution. Visionary engineers and entrepreneurs flocked to its borders.

In 1913, up-and-coming car manufacturer Henry Ford perfected the first large-scale assembly line. Within few years, Detroit was about to become the world capital of automobile and the cradle of modern mass-production. For the first time of history, affluence was within the reach of the mass of people. Monumental skyscapers and fancy neighborhoods put the city's wealth on display. Detroit became the dazzling beacon of the American Dream. Thousands of migrants came to find a job. By the 50's, its population rose to almost 2 million people. Detroit became the 4th largest city in the United States.

 

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United States
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Zev Hoover
United States
1999
Zev Hoover, from Natick, Massachusetts, goes by the Flickr username Fiddle Oak, a play on 'little folk', which adequately describes the incredible images that make up his 'miniature world'. In his fantastical photos in which people are digitally shrunken, acorns make excellent seats, Popsicle sticks are the ideal size for building rafts, and paper airplanes are viable modes of transport. Zev told Today.com that while he takes the photos with his own camera, his older sister Nell, 18, was the brains behind the original tiny people concept. "She is sort of my partner in crime," he said, adding that she is "more of a writer". While Nell may have come up with the idea, Zev executes the images beautifully, and his unique work has attracted the attention of professional photographers and designers. The 14-year-old, who also writes a blog, explained the complicated process of how he creates his dreamlike images, many of which feature him as the main subject. The process involves capturing the background image first, shrinking photos of people in similar lighting, manipulating the images in Photoshop and editing the color scheme so that it all matches. 'It takes a long time,' he said of the resulting images, which are so otherworldly that they almost look like drawings. One image shows a boy constructing a house of playing cards, his body the same size as the cards. In another image, a 'miniature' boy and girl sit upon a raft made of Popsicle sticks, the sail of which is a single leaf. Many of Zev's images explore nature, including one in which a boy perches inside the shell of an acorn. Another nature-themed photo, which plays with and distorts size ratio, shows a miniscule-looking boy sitting on the edge of a rock, a violin in his hand. Photography and design websites have picked up on Zev's work, lauding him for being so talented and creative at such a young age.Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
Alexis Pichot
France
1980
In 2011, I made the bold decision to redirect my professional life into my self-guided passion, photography. I worked as an interior designer in Paris for more than ten years. Throughout that time I was very focused on the use of space and acquired a sensitivity that has greatly influenced my approach to volume in photography. At night, light and space are my sources of inspiration, experimentation and confrontation - but above all, of fulfilment. I pierce the night using physical movement, as well as using light in order to see beyond what is visible, to a place where the blackness has not yet absorbed everything. I have accomplished various large-scale artistic projects, often in partnership with private and public institutions. Notably, my project with the Hotel National des Invalides - which granted me access to all of the military sites in Ile de France - enabled me to bring to light this fragment of history in a large exposition in the moat of the Invalides. I also had the opportunity to work with the RATP, who commissioned me to enter a disused marshalling yard where their entire collection of rolling stock is preserved, covering 100 years of history. The images created were exhibited during "Les Journées du Patrimoine" (the Heritage Days) within their workshop-museum. The cities and their nocturnal vestiges have been sacred fields of investigation for me, as much for their architectural lines as for the histories to which they bear witness. Arising from an awareness of and sensitivity to modern society - alongside the fact that I live in a city - nature has become my source of regeneration.
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