Leisure is a collective work realized by two photographers: Maxime Delvaux and Kevin Laloux.
Leisure is defined by the activity that we do outside the time taken by our usual occupations. It is the activities that we choose to do. Those are of all nature: cultural, sporting, recreational, etc. The idea of this work is to analyze the means used to practice those activities as well as the people involved in them. First of all, in a formal way, through the architecture of these places devoted to leisure and the sites in which they are established.
This work tends to translate into images the infrastructures and architectures developed by a state or a region, to promote a territory and to make a site attractive in a touristic or recreational way. This project is also about public and private places allowing the practice of a leisure activity. What importance does the city leave them, and how are they implanted in the urban landscape?
Further than this formal approach, it is interesting to analyze the use made of these places by people, and the way in which they make those places alive and their own. Photographing these people — in this particular context they have chosen to live — allows us to capture in them something real and personal.
— Maxime Delvaux & Kevin Laloux, Brussels, Belgium
My photographs explore synthetic elements that signify a human presence on the land.
The starting point for my research is the assertion that the landscape art developed from the 17th Century is a construct that quickly became established as the dominant method of experiencing nature. When this aesthetic is combined with the apparent realism of photography it both informs and reveals our attitudes to the environment. Mainstream landscape photography that often relies on the picturesque offers a dangerous vision of a timeless environment unaffected by people.
The featured picture is from the series Mega Structure — a collection of curious utilitarian buildings found in often quite picturesque locations around England. The purpose of these buildings is not always immediately apparent. Small in scale, and with little or no architectural merit, they simply seem to exist, and go largely unnoticed. Despite this they are very much a part of the landscape that we experience rather than some picturesque idyll.
— Huw Nicholls, Brighton, United Kingdom
This project surveys the material presence of empty billboards and considers their capacity to comment on the environments that surround them.
For the last few years I have taken notice of and been actively searching for very clean, very white billboards, the kind that seem to present nothing but their own monumental physicality. Without the company of an advertisement to distract us, each billboard becomes an ambiguous fixture within the built environment, possibly indicative of economic and social collapse, but equally reminiscent of the potential dramas available to movie screens and unpainted canvases.
Above all, the project continues to serve as a visual response to the bewilderment in and confrontation of an object’s recovered material reality. It is only through the manifest blankness of each billboard that we encounter it — and possibly for the first time — as a physical object cast into landscapes of arguably equal emptiness.
— Sherwin Rivera Tibayan, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
When I first came to the United States five years ago, my first impression was that everything in America is bigger, such as big trucks and huge shopping centers. Slowly, during the course of the five years, I realized that there is a link between “big” and abundant resources. As if “big” is the consequence of excessive needs, and excessive needs are supported and encouraged by abundant resources. China is also big in a lot of ways, but we still sell pencils in ones instead of dozens.
I decided to photograph the abandoned. My work represents “big” in an indirect way. In a society with abundant resources, we easily lose ourselves in materialistic items when there are too many choices or too frequent updates. We are no longer satisfied with getting the things that we need, but are rather obsessed with getting better and newer things; we are trapped in the process of updating instead of enjoying what we have in our hands. In an era when the speed of the aging of an object can no longer catch up with the speed of our boredom with the object, abandonment seems to be the only way out for this object.
— QiYuan Li, Pasadena, California, USA