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Damien Vassart

I started photography by chance, although the motivations that would guide my work thereafter were already deeply rooted in me.

I have always been solitary and sensitive. The environment in which I am standing in notably affects my emotions, particularly through the quality and intensity of light. I still feel, for example, particularly nostalgic at dusk, while I contemplate the ethereal atmosphere of a sunset.
Black and white glorifies light despite having no color, so it best allows me to transcribe the state of mind in which I find myself as I take a photo.

I realized one day during my youth that time passed unrelentingly, and it is impossible to go back or undo what has been done. Time is just as able to mend the deepest wounds as it is to erode the most resolute faith. It is a very precious resource because it is nonrenewable, that we are not allowed to waste.
In order to incorporate this concept into my work, I quickly resorted to shooting long exposures, a process that I have since never stopped using. I do not consider photography to be the capturing of a fleeting moment, but rather a series of moments superimposed over each other, during which changes take place, permanently altering living and non-living matter.
By extending the shutter speed, I am attempting to symbolize perpetual evolution, which we cannot normally perceive with the naked eye.

Throughout my career, my choice of subjects, namely architecture and cities on one hand, and landscapes – mostly waterscapes – on the other, revealed my fascination with material elements that make up the world around us, be they natural or entirely man-made.
In particular, it is the coexistence of one with the other and the consequences they have for each other that I find important and that I seek to reveal.

Looking at the ocean or the mountains, I feel respect and humility. To me, nature feels all-powerful, invincible, and universal.
At the foot of buildings made through the expertise of architects and building companies, I can only admire the genius and perseverance with which humanity strives to compete with nature and leave its mark.
But is this coexistence symbiotic or mutually destructive?
Indeed, it is interesting to note that if human achievements are unfortunately contributing to the destruction of natural resources, then the sometimes violent demonstrations of meteorological, tectonic, or volcanic activity, show that Earth can also get rough with those to whom it provides shelter.
Therefore, it is this mutual fragility of nature against man, and of man against nature that I seek to show by immortalizing my visions of places, be they sublime or ordinary, deserted or overcrowded, waiting for me to discover.

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  • Paris, France