I like to explore the ordinary urban landscape, because whatever ugly city we designed, and we did a lot of ugly constructions in France since the 1950’s, people add a tremendous history and mystery to it, and nature is always the ultimate and riche source behind.
I could be photographing natural landscapes, and the play of light on some beautiful rocks, but i prefer to face and use what i have every day in front of me: the enigmatic beauty of city’s fringe. In 2013 it was the 40th anniversary off the “Boulevard Périphérique de Paris”, wich is Paris ring road, and we decided with 6 photographers off my photo Collective, Babel Photo, to each produce an original series on this special road.
What mostly interested me when i shot my series “typologie of concrete” was the structure and the materials the ring road is made off. It is an enormous object build by engineers, A 35 km river of concrete surrounding the city, purely utilitarian, with just a modicum of decoration. It is a place that every pedestrian cross as fast as he can between the city and it’s suburbs. But when you start exploring it, you discover plenty off vast and empty spaces, concrete temples with colonnes, arch, and giant roofs. After 40 years, the concrete has grown a real deep texture wich is beautiful to photograph in black and white. The walls meet at many angles, creating some original spaces that can bring very interesting dynamic to the pictures.
Paris is a very dense city, with little desert place, but i spent days with my camera without meeting anyone, enjoying the zen that architecture or landscape photography can be, with just the faraway humming off all the cars using the road.
I had already in my mind the prints i wanted too make with this pictures, large (100x80cm) black and white format with a great definition, so that they could be looked very closely. I am about to four of them, for an exhibition starting the 10th off April at the “Hôtel de Sauroy” in Paris, and i look forward seing what impression it will bring back off the place it represent, and how far it can lead people’s meditations. I am a finalist in the Sony World Photo Awards and, thanks to this, some off this images will be part off an exhibition at Somerset House in London in may.My next projects will explore architectural spaces in the making, and urban spaces at the fringe off small cities, especially in the south off France.
About Ludovic Maillard
After travelling and working around the world for 10 years Ludovic Maillard became a photographer in 2005. He has exhibited his portraits and documentary work at the Rencontres d’Arles and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris (with his series “The suburb on foot”). He collaborates with the newspaper Le Monde, and responds to assignments for the press and institutions. In 2009, he cofounded the Babel-Photo collective which published in 2013 the book “Périphérique, Terre promise”. Since 2010, his photography is based on literary works to create staged images, and on his passion for architecture and landscape.
His future projects are about the urban space off the “Great Paris” and the evolving borders off french towns. [Official Website]