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Atlas of Places

The quest for authenticity

2019

« Et bien voilà : après avoir beaucoup travaillé – je parle du travail de l’esprit – après avoir longuement médité et philosophé, je suis arrivé à la conclusion irréfutable que le seul bonheur possible c’est d’être un homme de la Nature. J’ai besoin d’air, j’ai besoin d’espace pour que ma pensée se cristallise. Je ne m’intéresse plus qu’à ce qui est vrai, sincère, pur, large, en un seul mot, l’authentique, et je suis venu ici pour cultiver l’authentique. J’espère que vous me comprenez ? »

– Dialogue from Claude Berri’s adaptation of Marcel Pagnol’s Jean de Florette written in 1963

This photographic series tries to showcase the ambiguity of man’s quest for authenticity. These log chalets, who have popped up everywhere in the past decade in this mountainous region of the Pyrénées-Orientales, are representative of an Alpine style that has no historical context here. A style that was parachuted by marketers in the hopes of selling an authentic chalet experience. The wood, transported from all around Europe, is then reassembled into makeshift villages which are occupied a couple of weeks per year. Devoid of any link with the past, with no public space, and far too expensive for local inhabitants, they are left as symbols of what a « mountain village » should be, a profitable resort for rural tales.

The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
The quest for authenticity
42°30'27.2"N 2°04'35.6"E

Location: Bolquère, France

Posted: August 2019
Category: Research