KAUNAS PHOTO STAR / Julien Lombardi “The Unfinished”

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Julien Lombardi (France) “The unfinished. 2012 – 2015“

© Julien Lombardi “The unfinished. 2012 – 2015“
© Julien Lombardi “The unfinished” (2012 – 2015)

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia is in transition between two worlds. Just as the country which has inspired them, the photographs are awaiting a story. These documents reflect “the unfinished” and a memory in full construction.

During a first visit to Armenia in 2012, Julien Lombardi discovered the complexities of a young nation in the midst of a building process. The country’s geographical location has limited its ability to establish a political model. Armenia is a small, landlocked nation that has contentious diplomatic relations with certain neighbours. All these factors contribute to its isolation, leaving us confronted with the reality of a society that is evolving on the fringes, according to its own rules and concept of time. This situation has undeniably carried over into the visual realm – contemporary Armenia lies outside the camera’s lens. Documents illustrating the development of this young republic are non-existent and there is a stunning lack of images, which are either absent or hidden. In terms of visual representation, the country truly is a “blank print”. It’s an environment in which everything keeps moving, but nothing definitive ever occurs. How is it possible to document a nation in a state of flux? To bear witness to a memory that has yet to be completely formed? These challenges lay bare the limits of a visual investigation and raise questions about the ability of the photographic medium to capture an elusive present. Julien Lombardi approach therefore aims to create repositories for a future memory; he collect fragments of spaces liable to become the backdrop for actions yet to come. The series of images resulting from this approach constitutes a set of fictitious documents whose content remains a possibility to be realised. The photos are awaiting development, just like the country that inspired them.

Julien Lombardi (b. 1980), studied first ethnology. He turned to photography eventually as a means of achieving an artistic investigation. His artistic approach to the medium transforms reality into a scenic spaces. His staging of the ordinary creates a simulacrum, and the neutral elements of our daily lives take on new meanings. Themes like territory, identity, memory and the organization of space are always present in his work. He use photography as a tool to probe what isn’t visible or is about to vanish. His series are regularly exhibited in festivals like Circulation(s), Athens Photo or Medphoto. Also in galleries, art centers and shows. His work is part of collections such as BNF and Chateau d’Eau in particular. His work has received honors including the Bourse du Talent, the Marco Pesaresi Award 2015 and was finalist of the HSBC Prize for Photography 2016.

Exhibition will be opened on 19 of August, at 6:00 p.m., at the Kaunas Photography gallery.