Size: 165 x 245 mm
Pages: 80 pages, including 50 b/w photographs
Type: Perfect bound softcover
Edition: Signed, 200
Designer: Antoine Le Roux
Land of quiet birds, Antoine Le Roux’s first photobook!
In 2014, after several years spent in Paris, I decided to go to New Zealand, leaving everything behind. I was looking for a new start, I felt a deep desire to give certain life choices a new meaning. As a photographer, of course, but also regarding my life in general. Thus, this long trip gave me the opportunity to go back to a more spontaneous photographic practice, simply carrying around a small format camera and a bag of black and white films.
Throughout this whole year, I did many walks, up in the mountains, in forest, at times in hostile or less hostile lands. The need to confront myself with the elements always prevailed. Like an obsession and without even knowing what I was looking for.
‘Land of quiet birds’, born out of the confrontation with the photographic archives of a year down under, fits in with this momentum. The book presents itself as an investigation, an itinerary, the one of a lost traveller, a seeker halfway between abandonment and lucidity, whose images will only make sense once the muffled violence of the ordinary is left behind. A sort of witness of my emotions. And even though there has been a couple of tries in the past, this book is my first one.
Genesis and description of the project:
In the course of events that have led to this body of work, an effort stands out: that of representation, of shaping of the silence that permeates the forest we walked through on February 2015. A silence that seems to say that something is on the lookout, ready to take a leap. Then nothing, nothing but a few distant echoes. In this silence is a story, shared by many other islands: the arrival of invasive animals, no matter what their shape, origin or intentions, often brings on a devastating impact to the environment. Very soon, there is not a lot left from the previous world. New Zealand’s fate was much the same. The book is mostly about this constant tension, the one between men and their environment, that rarely leads to a good ending for everyone.
It is by way of this silence, however, that a renewal can take place. Renewal of our planet, which evolves on a temporality that is very hard to relate to, and renewal of our own presence, one to which I cannot escape. For the birth and death cycle of life never ceases. Except maybe when I press the shutter button, when I invariably hold my breath until the sensitive surface of the film is filled with light. Through this action repeated thousands of times, the person I am, who traveled and landed on an unknown territory, can then recognize the possibility, making its way like on a negative, to finally connect to myself. Almost like a reconciliation.” (Antoine Le Roux)