Simon Robert – L’identité dans le paysage

Equestrian Jumping Individual, Greenwich Park, London. 8 August 2012

Ne vous y méprenez pas, Simon Robert est un photographe anglais, malgré son patronyme so frenchy! Ce photographe, a pour particularité  d’explorer les liens entre paysages et identité nationale.

Cet artiste nous plonge dans une double représentation sociétale: il nous donne à voir la façon dont les gens s’inscrivent dans le paysage par de multiples indices tels que leurs vêtements, leur posture, leur expression et parallèlement les paysages qu’il choisit nous renvoient dans écho troublant l’image toute particulière de la société dans laquelle le personnage photographié s’inscrit.

Si son travail a beaucoup porté sur son Angleterre natale qu’il capture au travers de différentes thématiques telles que “The XXX Olympiad” ou “The Last Moment” , il a atteint une notoriété internationale en 2005 après un un an passé à parcourir la Russie, de Kaliningrad à Vladivostok qu’il a retranscrit à travers 2 séries de photographie: Motherland et Polyarnye Nochi.

The XXX Olympiad

 Cette série est ancrée dans la crise économique où pourtant une référence est faite aux derniers Jeux olympiques tenus à Londres, en 1948, qui étaient connus comme les jeux d’austérité. Dans ce Londres de 2012 le photographe nous montre comment il est proposé aux britanniques d’oublier momentanément la morosité économique qui les entoure.

Simon Robert - Olympics/ The Grand Project - Equestrian Jumping Individual, Greenwich Park, London. 8 August 2012

Simon Robert – Olympics/ The Grand Project – Equestrian Jumping Individual, Greenwich Park, London. 8 August 2012

The Last Moment

Il utilise ici des techniques de numérisation, de superposition, de masquage afin de créer des images dépouillées et abstraites où des cercles de différentes tailles flottent librement sur un fond semi-transparent.

Simon Robert - The Last Moment - Royal wedding revelers / London, UK (Source: The Guardian, 30 October 2011. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images) The Metropolitan police estimated that there were up to 1 million lining the route of the procession from the Mall through Horse Guards Parade and Whitehall to Parliament Square. Hundreds of people had camped out overnight to catch a glimpse of the Queen and the rest of the wedding party.

Simon Robert – The Last Moment – Royal wedding revelers / London, UK
(Source: The Guardian, 30 October 2011. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
The Metropolitan police estimated that there were up to 1 million lining the route of the procession from the Mall through Horse Guards Parade and Whitehall to Parliament Square. Hundreds of people had camped out overnight to catch a glimpse of the Queen and the rest of the wedding party.

Motherland

Pour lui Motherland fige la “beauté modeste” qu’il lui a été donnée à voir durant son périple.

Simon Robert - Motherland - Drilling rigs, Kupol gold mine, Chukotka, Far East, September 2004

Simon Robert – Motherland – Drilling rigs, Kupol gold mine, Chukotka, Far East, September 2004

Simon Robert - Motherland - Evgenia Kuzminya , waitress at Café Pilot, Magadan, Far East Russia, August 2004

Simon Robert – Motherland – Evgenia Kuzminya , waitress at Café Pilot, Magadan, Far East Russia, August 2004

 

Simon Roberts - Motherland - Camping with Sasha and Paval, Kamchatka Peninsula, Far East Russia, October 2004

Simon Roberts – Motherland – Camping with Sasha and Paval, Kamchatka Peninsula, Far East Russia, October 2004

Simon Robert - Motherland - Taxis cross the frozen Lena River, Yakutsk, Far East Russia, November 2004

Simon Robert – Motherland – Taxis cross the frozen Lena River, Yakutsk, Far East Russia, November 2004

 

Simon Robert - Motherland - Ballroom dancers, Nikita and Rufina, Omsk, Western Siberia, May 2005

Simon Robert – Motherland – Ballroom dancers, Nikita and Rufina, Omsk, Western Siberia, May 2005

Polyarnye Nochi

L’autre série,  Polyarnye Nochi, nous plonge dans un hiver russe qui semble interminable, passant d’un univers post industriel fantomatique à une vision plus pittoresque mais toujours un peu dramatique des confins d’une Russie glacée à la froideur vibrante.

Simon Robert - Polyarnye Nochi - Apatity, Northern Russia, January 2005 Founded in 1966, Apatity is home to the world's greatest source of apatite ore and is the Kola Peninsula's second-largest city. One of the many industrial sites scattered across the city is pictured from a passing bus window.

Simon Robert – Polyarnye Nochi – Apatity, Northern Russia, January 2005
Founded in 1966, Apatity is home to the world’s greatest source of apatite ore and is the Kola Peninsula’s second-largest city. One of the many industrial sites scattered across the city is pictured from a passing bus window.

Simon Robert - Polyarnye Nochi - Murmansk, Northern Russia, January 2005 An abandoned truck and the Daniel Morgan ship (left) in the Barents Sea. The American warship, Daniel Morgan, was torpedoed by the Germans and sunk on 7th May 1942. It now sits rusting in the Barents Sea on the edge of Murmansk. It was a liberty ship that may have been named after General Daniel Morgan (c1735-1802) who was a Revolutionary War general.

Simon Robert – Polyarnye Nochi – Murmansk, Northern Russia, January 2005
An abandoned truck and the Daniel Morgan ship (left) in the Barents Sea. The American warship, Daniel Morgan, was torpedoed by the Germans and sunk on 7th May 1942. It now sits rusting in the Barents Sea on the edge of Murmansk. It was a liberty ship that may have been named after General Daniel Morgan (c1735-1802) who was a Revolutionary War general.

Simon Roebrt - Polyarnye Nochi - Murmansk, Northern Russia, January 2005 A man pulls a child on a sledge past the statue of a soldier, known as Alyosha, built on a hill overlooking Murmansk to commemorate the ‘Defenders of the Arctic’ during World War II. The statue faces westward, towards the port and is visible from most parts of Murmansk, standing as he does on an elevated plateau above Lake Semyonovskoe and being an immense thirty-four metres high himself. He’s a soldier carved of granite, his caped cloak, tin hat and hands, which clasp the strap of the rifle slung over his back are roughly hewn from the same stone, immoveable and severe. Alyosha has stood guard over Murmansk only since 1974, erected to commemorate Murmansk’s status as a ‘hero city’ during the Second World War, when the city inhabitants defended themselves against German bombardments even while three quarters of their town was razed to the ground.

Simon Roebrt – Polyarnye Nochi – Murmansk, Northern Russia, January 2005
A man pulls a child on a sledge past the statue of a soldier, known as Alyosha, built on a hill overlooking Murmansk to commemorate the ‘Defenders of the Arctic’ during World War II. The statue faces westward, towards the port and is visible from most parts of Murmansk, standing as he does on an elevated plateau above Lake Semyonovskoe and being an immense thirty-four metres high himself. He’s a soldier carved of granite, his caped cloak, tin hat and hands, which clasp the strap of the rifle slung over his back are roughly hewn from the same stone, immoveable and severe. Alyosha has stood guard over Murmansk only since 1974, erected to commemorate Murmansk’s status as a ‘hero city’ during the Second World War, when the city inhabitants defended themselves against German bombardments even while three quarters of their town was razed to the ground.

Simon Robert - Polyarnye Nochi - Magarass, Yakutsk, December 2004 Washing hangs outside traditional wooden homes in this Yakut village of Magarass. The Yakut people arrived in Russia in the 16th century from Turkey. Several tribes still lead semi-nomadic lives, living in yurts and surviving by traditional means – hunting, fishing, raising cattle and herding reindeer.

Simon Robert – Polyarnye Nochi – Magarass, Yakutsk, December 2004
Washing hangs outside traditional wooden homes in this Yakut village of Magarass. The Yakut people arrived in Russia in the 16th century from Turkey. Several tribes still lead semi-nomadic lives, living in yurts and surviving by traditional means – hunting, fishing, raising cattle and herding reindeer.

 

Simon Robert - Polyarnye Nochi - Monchegorsk, Northern Russia, January 2005 View of the Severonikel factory on the outskirts of the town of Monchegorsk. The town is reportedly one of the most badly polluted areas in Russia. Ironically, th Sami name of the town translates as 'beautiful tundra'. Since the fall of Soviet Union, teh main clients of the plant are now subcontractors for US and Japanese auto manufacturers, who use its products to manufacture catalytic convertors.

Simon Robert – Polyarnye Nochi – Monchegorsk, Northern Russia, January 2005
View of the Severonikel factory on the outskirts of the town of Monchegorsk. The town is reportedly one of the most badly polluted areas in Russia. Ironically, th Sami name of the town translates as ‘beautiful tundra’. Since the fall of Soviet Union, teh main clients of the plant are now subcontractors for US and Japanese auto manufacturers, who use its products to manufacture catalytic convertors.

Simon Robert - Polyarnye Nochi - Murmansk Harbour, Northern Russia. January 2005 While statistics vary wildly, it is certain that at least a hundred nuclear-powered submarines, some equipped with warheads and nearly all loaded with radioactive materials, are languishing in Murmansk’s harbour. Each one releases its radioactive loads into the sea and air as it deteriorates. Decommissioning the submarines would involve removing reactors, spent fuel and radioactive waste products and shipping them to a processing facility. After reprocessing these materials then need to be contained and placed in long-term storage (where they will be safe, in theory, for tens of thousands of years).

Simon Robert – Polyarnye Nochi – Murmansk Harbour, Northern Russia. January 2005
While statistics vary wildly, it is certain that at least a hundred nuclear-powered submarines, some equipped with warheads and nearly all loaded with radioactive materials, are languishing in Murmansk’s harbour. Each one releases its radioactive loads into the sea and air as it deteriorates. Decommissioning the submarines would involve removing reactors, spent fuel and radioactive waste products and shipping them to a processing facility. After reprocessing these materials then need to be contained and placed in long-term storage (where they will be safe, in theory, for tens of thousands of years).

We English

Suite à ce voyage aux confins de la Russie et de retour à son Angleterre natale, il décide de la parcourir avec son large objectif pendant un an, entre 2007 et 2008 pour faire un livre et une exposition sobrement intitulés “We English“. Certaines photographies de cette série ne sont pas sans nous rappeler une certaine imagerie romantique de l’histoire de la peinture.

Simon Robert - We English - South Downs Way, West Sussex, 8th October 2007

Simon Robert – We English – South Downs Way, West Sussex, 8th October 2007

Simon Robert - We English - Devil's Dyke, South Downs, East Sussex, 6th March 2008

Simon Robert – We English – Devil’s Dyke, South Downs, East Sussex, 6th March 2008

Simon Robert - We English - West Wittering Beach, Chichester, West Sussex, 3rd May 2008

Simon Robert – We English – West Wittering Beach, Chichester, West Sussex, 3rd May 2008

C’était donc un petit aperçu du travail de cet artiste prolifique dont vous pouvez trouver plus d’informations sur son site: http://www.simoncroberts.com.

Tendrement,
Milena Kodratoff,
Le Beau Bug

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