Photography

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Landscapes Altered by the World’s Largest Statues

May 5, 2014

Christopher Jobson

The Motherland Call, Volgograd, Russia, 285 ft, built in 1967

The Motherland Call, Volgograd, Russia, 285 ft, built in 1967

Towering above cities and carved into mountainsides, the gargantuan statues captured in Fabrice Fouillet’s series Colosses were designed to dwarf everything in proximity, to stand as timeless monuments of religious and political icons. Though unlike the tourists and pilgrims who travel great distances to witness these towering structures up close, Fouillet is more interested in how the landscape around each monument has been transformed. He shares via his artist statement:

The series “Colosses” is a study of the landscapes embracing those monumental commemorative statues. Although hugeness is appealing, exhilarating or even fascinating, I was first intrigued by the human need to build gigantic declarations. Then, I asked myself how such works could be connected to their surroundings. How can they fit in the landscapes, despite their excessive dimensions and their fundamental symbolic and traditional functions?

That is why I chose to photograph the statues from a standpoint outside their formal surroundings (touristic or religious), and to favour a more detached view, watching them from the sidelines. This detachment enabled me to offer a wider view of the landscape and to place the monuments in a more contemporary dimension.

Fouillet references a wave of “statuemania” in the 1990s in locations mostly around Asia where many more sculptures are still under construction. The world’s tallest monument, a tribute to the the independence hero Sardar Patel in India, will soon reach a soaring height of 182 meters, nearly twice that of the Statue of Liberty. You can see much more of the series over on his website. All photos courtesy the photographer. (via Slate)

African Renaissance Monument, Dakar, Senegal, 161 ft, built in 2010

African Renaissance Monument, Dakar, Senegal, 161 ft, built in 2010

Ataturk Mask, Buca, Izmir, Turkey, 132 ft, built in 2009

Ataturk Mask, Buca, Izmir, Turkey, 132 ft, built in 2009

Christ Blessing, Manado, Indonesia, 98.5 ft, built in 2007

Christ Blessing, Manado, Indonesia, 98.5 ft, built in 2007

Christ the King, Świebodzin, Poland, 120 ft, built in 2010

Christ the King, Świebodzin, Poland, 120 ft, built in 2010

Grand Byakue, Takazaki, Japan, 137 ft, built in 1936

Grand Byakue, Takazaki, Japan, 137 ft, built in 1936

Guan Yu, Yuncheng, China, 262 ft, built in 2010

Guan Yu, Yuncheng, China, 262 ft, built in 2010

Mao Zedong, Changsha, China, 105 ft, built in 2009

Mao Zedong, Changsha, China, 105 ft, built in 2009

Mother of the Fatherland, Kiev, Ukraine, 203 ft, built in 1981

Mother of the Fatherland, Kiev, Ukraine, 203 ft, built in 1981

Dai Kannon, Sendai, Japan, 330 ft, built in 1991

Dai Kannon, Sendai, Japan, 330 ft, built in 1991

 

 

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