Amélie Labourdette is a French visual-artist and photographer. Recipient of numerous research and production grants, her work has been shown in several exhibitions in France and internationally (United Kingdom, China, Georgia, Italy, Germany), and is included in public and private collections. In 2016, she won the Sony World Photography Awards Professional Competition, in the Architecture category, with the photographic series “Empire of Dust”. Through her photographic work Amélie Labourdette interrogates what is located below the visible landscape. The landscape refers us to something that is both collective and individual memory. It’s a reflection of an era’s history, as well as one from our imagination. By questioning the notion of territory to build, to appropriate or redefine artistically, she tries through her photographic work to reveal the multi-layered identities and temporalities of a landscape. She builds and realizes her photographic projects closely related with the territory idea, because it’s about landscape and “Archeology of present” that she wants to talk first of all. Amélie Labourdette questions the aesthetic, fictional and documentary values, induced by her photographs.
This is a sample of her work from “Empire of Dust”
All images © Amélie Labourdette
“Empire of Dust” has been realized in southern Italy, where financial crises and embezzlement have created an architectural aesthetic of incompleteness. Through the use of an “archaeology of the present” in her photographs, Amélie Labourdette reflects on the contemporary history of these unfinished architectures and invokes the viewer’s imagination so that a new “variant of the world” unfolds. Between upcoming ruins and potential sculptures, these unfinished buildings are drawing the figure of a strange present between dystopia and utopia, reflecting the depths of a familiar human history, made of hubris and vanity, of entropy and the inevitable return to dust. In front of these images, we become archaeologists of our time, like astronauts out of The Planet of the Apes, we are able to look back at our present and see our future too.