Philippe Calandre

Born in 1964 in Avignon, France. Lives and works in Paris. France.

 © Philippe Calandre, Metropolis, 2018.

© Philippe Calandre, Metropolis, 2018.

 ©Philippe Calandre

©Philippe Calandre

- Early training: served as a ship’s boy on board deep-sea vessels between the ages of 16 and 18.
- Self-taught.
Philippe Calandre exhibits regularly all over the world
- 2014: Exhibition Isola Nova at Lichfield Studio, London.
- 2015: Exhibition Isola Nova at the Chapelle royale, Versailles.
- 2018: Exhibition of the series In Perceptivo in Lyon and Mindspaces in Pondicherry, India. Isola Nova has been shown in Italy, Switzerland and England, and is the subject of a publication.

After his critically acclaimed work on Venice, Philippe Calandre has now turned his lens on Brussels, reinventing its shapes and perspectives via a combination of conventional silver-based photography and digital photomontage.

After his series Ghost Stations, which explored abandoned motorway service stations (acquired by the FRAC – Fonds Régional pour l’Art Contemporain in 2000), followed by Fiction Factories in 2012, architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte discovered Philippe Calandre’s work and offered him ‘carte blanche’ for his Venetian foundation. This encounter gave rise to the series of imaginary islands Isola Nova.

The artist has now been invited by Le Hangar, and is focusing on Belgium with the series Belgica Paradise and his first eight images of Brussels.

Holding faithfully to his method, he stalks the city intuitively, photographing its inner workings, interweaving industrial wastelands, historical and contemporary buildings. Through this vibrant mix of architecture and streetscapes, this back-and-forth between past, present and future, Philippe Calandre deconstructs and freely reconstructs the city. He invites us to observe its strange typological architectural alchemy. These contemplative images are sometimes reminiscent of paintings from the romantic school of the 19th century, or even certain etchings by Piranesi. This very singular approach to Brussels reminds us just how magnificent this iconic capital city is as it constantly reinvents itself. The spectator recognises without recognising. The shapes weave their magic spell…

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