The starting point of French photographer Jérémie Lenoir's research is always the landscape.
Depicted in a tangible and realistic manner, the landscape environment reflects a society heavily affected by economic challenges and policy issues. In the grip of functional profitability, the landscape threatens to take on forms that are hostile to the human condition.
Lenoir's photographic compositions resemble abstract paintings that appear both pictorial and graphic... They raise the question of "coherence" in an artistic, but also a geographic and landscape, sense.
A second question follows, arising from a humanist perspective: is the so-called cultural landscape - shaped and structured by man - becoming a space that is unbearable to live in?
Areas that elude classification, being neither urban nor rural, appear to be multiplying on the topographic map. The photographer thus carries out a logical yet essential manoeuvre: he analyses the phenomenon from a distance. The aerial views open up a wider perspective and call for new rules of interpretation. The horizon line that normally dictates the visual field disappears in favour of the shooting frame, which marks out the field of vision from the sky. The landscape is no longer understood as a real element, grasped through vertical and linear decoding, but is instead governed by the rules of the image. It becomes a play of morphology and chromatism, suggesting textures and patterns that are shapeless or geometric.
The abstract and surreal character of the sites evokes the discrepancy witnessed with regard to the authentic, so-called natural, landscape, in favour of a strange and artificial formalism. The result is reflected in photographs that are pictorially seductive and exude an impressive graphic power!
English translation by Claire Weyland