JUNGLES gathers different series made by French photographer Olivia Lavergne for almost ten years. Its design follows a sequence inspired by the cinema, like a fluid montage of images that tells the story, unfolding slowly the narrative. The book’s large format, including full-bleed double pages, emphasizes the feeling of immersion in majestic and luxuriant landscapes. During the first chapter, the reader follows in the footsteps of a mysterious young woman, dressed as a city girl, who goes deep into the forest...
In the middle of the book comes up a photo series on the jungle itself, like a gallery of illuminated tree portraits. That series is framed with a poetic fictional short story, divided into two parts and written by Bérengère Cournut (Prix du roman Fnac 2019), a French writer usually focusing on ancient tales and legends: she invents the story of a heroine wandering in the forest on a quest of discovering an untold mystery, a story that resonates in deep echo with the images of Olivia Lavergne.
In the third part, as if coming back to reality after being immersed in a deep dream, the reader meets the members of a Mentawai family from Indonesia, also called flower-men, that reveal their harmonious adaptation to the environment, the jungle, their home.
The JUNGLES book, rooted in the contemporary question of the human relationship to nature, explores the signs of a new editorial genre that would be to photography what mythical stories and tales are to literature.
JUNGLES is prefaced by Xavier Canonne, director of the Museum of Photography in Charleroi (Belgium).