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)
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Japan Erects Massive Sculpture of the Last Standing Tree from a Forest Destroyed by the 2011 Tsunami
As cleanup continues two years after the deadly tsunami that struck Japan, a decision was made to preserve the memory of the miracle pine tree. The towering 88-foot tall pine tree was the last standing among a forest of 70,000 trees that were completely wiped out along the coast in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture. The tree survived for nearly 18 months after the tsunami but eventually died due to high levels of saline introduced into its environment, after which is was felled and giant molds were created to again form the trunk and branches as they stood when the tree was alive. The monument is set to be unveiled this week.
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