The work of photographer George TICE offers a privileged testimony to the changes that swept through America in the second half of the 20th century. The artist has photographed extensively American cities on the East Coast, large and small, but also the trees and plants that are found there. In a changing urban landscape, his photographs bear witness to the changes in American society and the environment.
Tree with carvings is a close-up, focusing on the patterns of the bark of a tree, on which inscriptions have been carved. A subtle setting in abyss operates: the tree is represented as an artistic subject, while itself being a canvas on which creativity is expressed. In Tree, swing, and windows, the tree is part of the garden, both a play area and a viewing pleasure. The fact that a swing has been affixed to it shows that the inhabitants have appropriated the plant being, which also lives in a certain way in the house.
Ferns and Oak Tree, meanwhile, represent what remains of unspoiled nature around New York and New Jersey. Faced with urbanization, old or recent, depicted in the photographer’s work, this tree and these ferns offer a rare vegetal parenthesis.
Cássio VASCONCELLOS is a Brazilian photographer known for his photographs of the rainforest made between 2015 and 2019. Before this series, he had already had a first success with his series of nocturnal photographs. It had enabled him to obtain an artistic residency in Paris. On this occasion he continued his series through the streets of the City of Light, incorporating the trees into photographs that seem to capture the texture of the night. Trees are the only organic elements of the evening featuring statues and buildings in the capital. They come to live there and participate of the almost disturbing atmosphere of these images.
Romain VEILLON photographs abandoned spaces. His photographic practice is part of a movement called Urbex, a contraction of Urban Exploration. It is about exploring derelict buildings and places that people rarely enter. Romain VEILLON has photographed these places during his travels around the world. Italian villas, buildings from the communist era in Bulgaria, colonial houses in Namibia, bridges: all are empty or abandoned and come back to mother nature. Often, after several decades, the sand or vegetation regains its rights.
Unlike urban spaces where nature is reduced to heartache, here it is the ivy cannibalizing the stones and the plants growing in the middle of the buildings. Romain VEILLON’s photographs have an ambivalent atmosphere. Abandonment can sometimes create a mortuary yet hopeful atmosphere. As if we were observing the Earth after a disaster and yet life continues. The presence of plants counterbalances the idea of ruin and brings a certain softness to his images. We find ourselves facing a winter garden left fallow. The bay windows become greenhouses where summer plants take refuge.