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Europe – Plan B (series started in 2008), by Anne Favret and Patrick Manez

Since the beginning of our collaboration, we have sought to reconcile in our projects an approach inspired by conceptual artists that is based on a poor image, “without quality”, and a photographic tradition that claims the aesthetic contributions of this medium through the practice of large format. It is the relationship to the subject and to reality that, in our work, nourishes our reflection and defines the form of the artwork. We do not have a naïve relationship with the veracity of photography, photographs are constructs and digital transformation has further facilitated and accentuated the possibilities of intervention on the image. But it is the space that separates photography from its subject, the tearing from reality to the principle of reality that interests us. Despite the proliferation of images, we still believe in the possibility of witnessing through photography a relationship to the world without going through a constant rereading of images produced by others. Photography is hybrid, impure and nomadic. It never ceases to reinvent itself on the margins of art history, beyond notions of modernism and postmodernism and to confront the complexity of history.

The gradual dilution of geographical identities and cultural peculiarities is the backbone of our long-term work “Europe – Plan B”, which we carry out on European cities whose name begins with the letter B: Berlin, Brussels, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Bologna, Birmingham …; a reference to the 2005 vote on the European Constitutional Treaty, but also a constraint on Perec which, thanks to its arbitrary dimension, leads us to explore less agreed agglomerations and to see how the development of the European area fits in a specific way into the body of each of its cities. A connection between the local and the global, local because each place is approached in its topographical, historical and cultural specificity, global because we seek in the landscape the visible signs of general questions – memory, mix, industrial conversion … ). Panaches, assembled end to end, the edgy of images of these different places end up forming a mosaic profile of the contemporary European city.

Pigment prints on rag paper, framed. Various formats.

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Other series of works by Favret and Manez

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