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His work is freely inspired by the dream and mystery side that the scientific and technological utopias echoes in the collective imagination; With the Space project he has vonluntarily mixed a historic and documentary vision of the spatial adventure with staged situations fed by the cinema and his childhood memories; thus, these mythical places of the space exploration become film sets where Jacques Tati would meet with Jules Verne or Stanley Kubrick. The project «The Man Machine», for its part, poses the question of a possible evolution of artificial creatures, robots and other avatars, in our daily life.
The “SPACE PROJECT” series reflects my fascination for Space exploration through an archive of the most significant space complexes, facilities, and experiences from all over the world and all kind of organizations. The definition of Space according to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale is the point where the atmosphere becomes too thin to support aeronautical flights: the Kármán Jurisdictional Line at the altitude of 100 kms. Below this boundary, space belongs to each country, beyond, it would be free space: the territory of the unknown fields, the kingdom of the extremes, where opposites live together and change our thinking. Such a perfect playground for imagination! I have first been looking at space through all sorts of space observatories in Chile, the US or the North Pole. Those machines are like ears and eyes making the link between the two worlds, the seen and the unseen. Looking far beyond into space is also looking into time as most stars or sounds we can record are actually the remains of passed time… Working on going into space was then my goal and I have thus entered the major official space organizations and launching sites all over the world – most space facilities inherited from the cold war. I understood that utopia may become close to dystopia. The experience of Biosphere 2, the world’s biggest self-sustaining replica of Earth’s ecosystems built in order to prepare future space colonization turned indeed into a magnificent failure. When I started this project in 2007, my vision was both ironic and nostalgic for this dream of a potential future that was federating our collective imagination. This project takes today a new echo with the development of a new kind of space exploration, led by the aerospace and robotics industries rather than the superpowers of yesteryears. The second act of my “Space Project” now comes with the dawn of private space exploration with the new race to the stars and the Lunar X-Prize, that I will document for the National Geographic magazine – the occasion to remind us that discoveries are largely driven by individuals with lots of personality and audacious ideas. Imagination is the key.
THE MAN MACHINE
The Man Machine project is a reflection on how artificial creatures such as robots or other avatars can evolve in our day-to-day life. For this speculative fiction series I staged several humanoid robots in realistic reconstructions of usual domestic scenes: at work, at home, in the streets, during leisure… Situations suggest both empathy and detachment towards the robot. My aim was to create a balance between the spectator and the robot, between a process of identification and distance. We find this idea in the “the Uncanny Valley ” – a scientific theory elaborated by the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori which states that the more a robot resembles a human being, the more its imperfections seem monstruous to us. The current development of these artificial creatures in our society brings fascination but also the frightening issue of the social acceptance of these changes.
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Vincent Fournier was born in 1970 and lives in Paris. After graduating with a sociology degree and a Masters in Visual Arts, he obtained a diploma from the National School of Photography in Arles in 1997. His works are regularly exhibited in international galeries and festivals, such as Les Rencontres d’Arles, Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris, Fondation EDF in Paris, Centre d’Art Contemporain in Pontmain (France), Architekturforum Aedes in Berlin, Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Genk (Belgium), Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, Centre de la Photographie in Genève, Quai 1 Vevey in Switzerland, 798 Space in Bejiin. His work can be found in public and private art collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, permanent collection (New York) LVMH Contemporary Art Collection in Paris.
Selection of personal exhibitions since 2014 2018 – Le Château d’Eau « Past forward » 2017 – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Past Forward, Foto Industria, Fonda zion MAST, Bologne – Australian Center for Photography (ACP), Post Natural History, Syney 2016 – Perth Centre for Photography, Post Natural History, Perth, – Alliance Française, Post Natural History, Melbourne, Australie. – Salon du PAD Paris, galerie [Perpitch&Bringand], France. – Galerie Spazio Nobile, Post Natural History, Bruxelles, Belgique. – New Square Gallery, Past Forward, Lille, France. 2015 – La Galerie, Post Natural History, Hong-Kong. – Foire Amsterdam Art Fair, The Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam, Hollande. – Art Central Fair, Hong Kong. 2014 – Centre 798 Art Zone / Thinking Hands, Space Project, Pékin, Chine. – Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Space Odyssey 2.0, Hasselt, Belgique. – Biennale Internationale de la Photographie et des Arts Visuels, Liège, Belgique – Festival Getxophoto, Bilbao, Espagne – Festival Kyotographie, Kyoto, Japon. – Festival Cortona On the Move, Italie.