Grant Winner This project was awarded a special cash grant by juror Sujong Song. Each of the five jury members selected one photographer from the Top 50 Emerging Talents to be awarded special distinction with a cash grant.

From Juror Sujong Song:

Scrublands by Antoine Bruy is about people who have turned their backs on modern civilization and its emphasis on consumerism and productivity, choosing instead the slower, if inconvenient, life that paces itself with nature. The series shows the changing of the seasons, and the newly adopted routine of daily life that follows the earth’s own rhythm. The photography is quiet, like the life its subjects chose, but also carries within it a deep resonance. The work fuses together then discards the landscape, humans, and objects within each frame, ultimately showing that it was inevitable all these elements would exist in this place. It’s immediately apparent a lot of time was invested into these poetic, polished images. More than anything, authenticity can be read in each photograph, which lends the series an unspoken air of trust. Bruy throws out a sobering question about our way of life and existence. The fact that he does it so eloquently in a language none other than photography is even more exceptional.”

— Sujong Song, Daegu Photo Festival

Antoine Bruy’s Artist’s Statement

From 2010 to 2013, I hitchhiked throughout Europe with the aim to meet men and women who made the radical choice to live away from cities, willing to abandon their lifestyle based on performance, efficiency and consumption.

Without any fixed route, driven by encounters and chance, this trip eventually became for me a similar kind of initiatory quest to those of these families. Eight of these experiments are shown here, and display various fates which I think should not only be seen at a political level, but more importantly as daily and immediate experiences.

The heterogeneity of places and situations shows us the beautiful paradox of the pursuit of a utopia through permanent empirical attempts and sometimes errors. Unstable structures, recovered materials, or multiple applications of agricultural theories allow us to see the variety of human trajectories. All of which aiming at developing strategies to gain greater energy, food, economic or social autonomy.

These are in some way spontaneous responses to the societies these men and women left behind. Therefore their land is exploited but never submitted, the time has lost his tight linearity to become a slow and deliberate pace. No more clock ticking but the ballet of days and nights, seasons and lunar cycles.

—Antoine Bruy

Editors’ note: Bruy’s work, along with photographs from all the LensCulture Emerging Talents 2014 was shown in an exhibition at the Galeria Valid Foto in Barcelona. And see a review of ALL the winners here in LensCulture.

The winners were also featured at photo festival screenings in Dublin, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Seoul and Amsterdam in 2014. Congratulations again for all their great work!