With the support of DRAC Hauts de France, Tremplin Residence 2022
The spaces documented by Marine Leleu have no special qualities. At the edges of town, not quite in the countryside, the areas she covers have no borders: they themselves serve as boundaries. Her constantly growing database contains landscapes from the Departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais, and from Spain, including the outskirts of Madrid. The same landscape can sometimes be seen several times, a short time apart. The photographer rigorously deploys the documentary approach that characterized the Mission Héliographique landmark photography mission of 1851 and the DATAR photographic mission of 1984.
In addition to mapping the French territory, Marine Leleu records changes in infrastructure and the abandonment of utilitarian architecture; she captures visual evidence of the obsolescent ruins described by the essayist Bruce Bégout. Her photographs, which flow from one edition to another and are transposed from one exhibit to the next, exist due to their physicality and due to the transfer process. Reusing paper and playing with the idea of the copy and with the degradation caused by the transfer, the artist explores the depletion of common spaces and the recomposition of these liminal zones. At a time when various laws are attempting to regulate human activities’ impact on the land, and the degradation of soil, Marine Leleu’s work presents a vision of the early signs of regeneration, and her images, a space for healing.
Text by Henri Guette