Grands Moulins de Paris

Georges Rousse

Date : 2005

Medium : Photography

Size : 125 x 160 cm

Georges Rousse has always liked desolate places. Their solitude and the fact that they are frozen in time between life and death making them an ideal place for meditation. A tireless traveller, he roams the world in search of empty factories, forgotten houses and buildings awaiting demolition, setting up his nomad studio to give them new life, a new history. Alone in these forsaken places, Georges Rousse has chosen photography as his only medium, using a unique camera angle to capture his work. New spaces are created by playing on perspective, anamorphosis and trick effects to reflect his unique take on the world.

The guide

Architect, painter, photographer, sculptor—Georges Rousse is a bit of a Renaissance man, as evidenced by this work.
There's no doubt about it, this is a photograph. What does it depict?
An abandoned room where a black square appears to be floating in air.
Is it a photo montage? Is it superimposed?

Let me explain what anamorphosis is.
It is an optical illusion; a figure is deformed following a precise schema. The initial shape is broken up in the space, then reconstituted and appears whole from a single and unique point of view, that of the camera. Move the camera by even just 5 cm and the shape is distorted!
The black square exists only from the exact location where the photograph was taken.
If we move around the room, we would see that the ground and part of the walls are covered with black planes with no particular shape apparent.

To produce this illusion, the French artist first drew the desired image on the camera's lens. Then, he painted the space so as to follow the borders of the shape by going back and forth between the camera and the transformed room. In this way, he checks that the painting on site corresponds to the desired shape.
This visual tool helps Rousse breathe new life into the abandoned space, by rendering it sublime with what he calls an "intangible sculpture". The transformed building seldom sees any visitors, but the photograph is there to show this incredible optical illusion.

With this picture, architecture, painting, photography, sculpture and photography are all drawn together in a single work of art.