Josef Koudelka started using a camera in panoramic format in 1986 while participating in the photographic mission of the DATAR, whose objective was to “represent the French landscape of the 1980s”. He thus criss-crossed France, then the entire world, to take stock of modern humanity’s influence on landscape. This book, with an original, raw binding and an imposing format, gathers 40 panoramic photographs selected by the artist with the complicity of François Hébel.
These images bear witness to major human works, ranging from factories to quarries, or enormous mining complexes and abandoned zones. They carry the reader into inaccessible and little-known areas, between sublime and disarray, to witness the imposing reality of industry that we try now to erase.
A text by François Hébel gives an overview of Koudelka’s photographic journey and his fascination for industrial landscapes over 30 years whereas François Barré’s essay contextualizes this ensemble into the history of landscape.