Babylon journeys between fiction and reality, crossing the favela of Babilônia, in which Benoît has lived since 2013, tells a story of both fiction and reality in the Favela.
Babylon community is one of the oldest favelas in Rio de Janeiro. Its main characteristic is its rural aspect, with rich vegetation and animal life. For this reason some residents say that its name was originally a reference to the hanging Gardens of Babylon in the Bible.
The favela is an organic construction where people have informally occupied the land, and it is relentlessly changing and growing. Its atmosphere is linked to the experience of walking through Babylon's winding paths, and at the same time, to the movement of that evolving space. Benoît's work draws inspiration from this very movement, from this random architecture with its own imperfections. Babylon was the first major international capital, and even after its demise, the city has continued to feed the collective imagination.
Benoit Fournier builds an imaginary city using diverse photographic technics, from digital to pinhole photography. He constructs cameras from objects found in the favela, and then develops the photographic paper in the dark room.
I juxtapose 2 periods in the history of this art form, going back to the origin of photography itself with the pinhole technic, and mixing it with digital photography, the modern tool of our time.
In my eyes the Favela is a temporal paradox, certain aspects bring to mind another time, like the density, the irregularity of the shapes, and the fact that everyone builds its own houses by any possible means. At the same time, is totally integrated with the modern world and consumer culture.