Arles, mon amour
In 2015, I visited the photo festival in Arles. My hotel was located near a freeway access road, on the edge of an industrial estate, about 3 km from the city center.
There were wild, flowering hedges here and there in red and pink and the sky was very blue. Yet the area, with its cheap stores, DIY stores, car and tire dealers, Aldi’s, gas stations, fast food outlets and, surprisingly a few restaurants, stomped into the landscape, struck me as neglected, an offensive outgrowth of a profit-driven economy.
All its ugliness, the garbage strewn everywhere and the simple, utilitarian buildings stood in strange contrast to the deep blue sky and the glistening light that has attracted artists to Arles for centuries.
After 2015, I visited the festival almost every year. Although I no longer lived in the same area, I regularly took a morning and photographed there.
Little has changed over the years. A few stores have disappeared, others have been added, sometimes there is a freshly painted façade. Once I photographed plastic bags that had got caught in a bush. Years later, bleached by the sun, there were still a few shreds hanging in the branches. There is still plenty of garbage and the light is still bright and the sky very blue.
The images in the work convey an antithesis to the preserved aesthetics and perfection of the center of Arles, they show the world we actually live in and how we deal with it.
60 pages, 39 photographs
Cover design: Sebastian Bissinger, BANKTM, Berlin
Publisher: KRAUTin, Berlin