Voyage en Périphérie
photographs and text by
Read this text in French (original)
"The important thing is the journey, not the arrival."
For me, photography is a mental state. I traveled to arrive there. And the inverse is also true: the fixed nature of an image has the power to transport the spectator.
In the rich diversity of French countryside, the suburbs remain territories of "anti-travel". Constructed in haste and with short histories, they're a long way from the agreed romantic image of France. Often dormitories more than tourist sites, they are zones of activity rather than history.
Adopted urban forms take a grand scale. Classical town principles are inverted. A building is no longer the result of design in the public space, it's not inserted into a fabric. Instead, it emerges from platonic volumes inspired by the charter of Athens, where public space becomes loose and residual. The urban plan adapts to motorized vehicles, and the pedestrian has no more reason to live.
If city territory has a geographical, economic, political or cultural centre, the suburbs are the
neuralgic centres. Fragile, like anything that grows too fast, they feed our fantasies and crystallize many questions about our current era.
Voyage en périphérie is an "extraspection". It's the story of a physical voyage in the suburbs of "my town", which yesterday seemed to me further away than other great world metropolises.
— Cyrus Cornut