Vincent J Stoker. Heterotopia, the tragic fall.
Sometime ago a French photographer Vincent J Stoker contacted us having seen our Degeneration project. Since then i have been following Vincent’s own work with great interest, here Vincent introduces his work with photographs below.
Heterotopia, the tragic fall.
Vincent J. Stoker
Heterotopia is a phenomenological investigation of the ‘other places’. It uses photography to dissect architectural bodies into their fundamental elements and to reach a better understanding of the world we live in.
Hetero : the other, otherness. Topos : the place.
Heterotopias can be defined negatively, by what they are not. Here and nowhere, they are neither real, nor utopian but both at the same time. Places out of all places but still recorded on maps, they are the physical locations of utopias, utopias that have become matter.
“The tragic fall” is my first series of heterotopias.
Architects frustrate Nature by creating ascending shapes. They strive to channel the forces of Nature which tend to flatten everything. The series shows this eternal struggle that even monuments end up losing. The history of these places is the History of our crises, the History of the failure of utopian projects. They, the places reveal the dark hidden parts and cast doubts on autophagous systems that let destroy what they have built themselves. My work is to remember those mistakes, the forgotten losers of History. I give voice to those we don’t listen to. Heterotopia is a testimony to the small ones, former monuments supporting great expectations.
It shows what would happen if mankind disappeared from the planet. Obviously, nature would reassert itself and reclaim its rights. Our civilization would be forgotten almost instantly, covered up with moss.
But the series is also a rise. It is the birth of a new order, the alliance, the improbable match, harmony of Nature and Culture. These places have never been as beautiful as today, in decay. Physics makes art and magnifies architecture. My pictures praise the slow and meticulous work of time, the inspired worker.
These stout and monumental monsters, relic of the past, murmur lessons to our ears. I hear them shout the brevity and fragility of our existence. My ruins have an edification power. Could it be possible to imagine Vanity and the “memento mori” in a more powerful way than the monument in ruin? The other lesson is to see in them an opportunity to make peace with our past. Humanity makes mistakes; this is what must not be forgotten. These terrible mutilations, we will end up liking them.
Behind the dust, the rust and under the rubble, we can sense the architects’ original visions of order and the rigid geometry of the buildings. The shots are framed with an almost mathematic exigency and show decrepit textures, all to try and make you, the viewer, discern the conflict in these places that are falling into chaos and rising with meaning.
Today I’m working on other series of heterotopias, “the utopian bodies”, “the end of History”, “the stored knowledge”…