Haunted places captured by Bruno Duplant
Settled in Northen France for more than 20 years, Bruno Duplant, artist, musician and composer, captures disused industrial areas, « ghost factories », through his camera. The images he takes echo preliminary sound works about the same theme. These compositions, which have evolved over time, are now compiled on the Quelques usines fantômes album, the third of a series started in 2012 and produced by the American label Flag Day Recordings. His retro aesthetic photographs explore the enigmatic part that hovers over these abandonned places where nature finally comes to take back its rights. Through the almost blurred shots, a ghostly style emerges, the places becoming moving and inhabited. Some, printed directly on metal, have an additional textured appearance, accentuating the speed of the shots and their bluring.
Find his last album here: flagdayrecordings.bandcamp.com
How did you come to photograph these abandonned buildings and places ?
As I have been living in the north of France for more than twenty years, it came very naturally. Coming from the south-east of France, I discovered then started to appreciate these red bricks constructions, omnipresent in the region. Then, there were the numerous and multiple brownfields. This architectural, artistic, cultural heritage has over time become mine. As for my artistic pratice, I first approached this subject through my musical pratice (eletro-acoustic music with the tutelary figure of Luc Ferrari). The idea of few ghost factories came to me when I asked myself what those places become when they are abandoned, emptied ? Is there not a sound trace, a soul ? Failing to be able to record it, I sought to create sounds, a climate, a fictious climax as true as reality. I had also realized a LP-fictions about two places abdoned after major nuclear disasters, Prypiat and Futuba. The photography came after, not secondary, but in addition, like another facet, another point of view about it.
What is your photographic process ? Your techniques ?
I will not reveal everything, but the process is also « fictitious » since I seek to push the pratice of digital photography into its extremes in order to move away from it and on the contrary get close as possible to analogue, even old processes at least in the result without actually using filters. I manhandle the camera to make the colors burst, the still very sharp and precise photography thus becoming blurred, as in movement. The outlooks become improbable. In general, I work more in black and white. The result is for me no longer a photograph but an image, just like a drawing, a painting, a monotype. Some of these images are printed directly on aluminium, to reinforce and fix the subject over time.
Do you think these placed can be haunted / inhabited by forces beyond us ?
I think so, just as the entire universe is made up of dark matter, matter (or not) of which we know absolutely nothing. For these forces around us, everyone can put a name on them according to the eras, the beliefs, the culture, ghosts, specters, forces, fluids, whatever, those things are there. The verb « haunt » is for me far too much pejorative, including having to scare the living. I think it is much simpler than that, these forces are there and live very well without us, they do not seek to attract our attention. I also think that humans with much more sensitivity, listening and with a spirit of openness will be able to discover all of this.