The work of Emmanuel Monzon focuses primarily on the idea of urban sprawling and the expansion of its periphery. Monzon photographs banality as though it were a Romantic painting, trying only to be “stronger than this big nothing” in controlling the space by framing the subject. His aesthetic of the banal obeys its own rules : a ban on living objects , a precise geometrical organization , and the revelation of a specific physical and mental landscape blurring the lines between city and suburb, between suburb and countryside, a process that results in an independent identity. Monzon thematically consistent work highlights things that make their surroundings appear quite empty and soulless. An unnerving set of social observations. Yet the tenderness of his colouring softens the quite harsh social comment his images tend to deliver. There is an absolute stillness in the images : nothing moves, not even time. Monzon grasps what is simple, and that is difficult.
Emptiness, absence, lack of a meaningful world : subjects are not inherently expressive yet they convey a deep sense of grief over the loss of meaning. Time has come to a stop. The absence of shadows and the pinkish grey mist often give a strong and disturbing impression of dream. Does these places really exist ? The reflection redeems and heals the wounds a mindless world inflicts on reality, and transforms an unstructured and empty present into a bearable memory.
Emmanuel Monzon is a photographer and visual artist based in Seattle, WA. He graduated from the Academy of Beaux-Arts in Paris, France with honors. His work has been featured throughout the US, Europe and Asia (through exhibitions, selections and various awards). Through his work, he explores and questions the signs of urban sprawl in our visual field. His photographic process is being influenced by his background as a plastic artist.
(c) Photographs and text by Emmanuel Monzon