The first pages cast some doubt... The book's images seem real, yet ghostly. They are beautiful, too exposed, sometimes irradiated. It seems that he used a particular film. A filter or an ultrasensitive film ? Wuhan Radiography is a surprising work on a series of black and white analog images taken by Belgian photographer Simon Vansteenwinckel.
The first pages cast some doubt... The book's images seem real, yet ghostly. They are beautiful, too exposed, sometimes irradiated. It seems that he used a particular film. A filter or an ultrasensitive film ?
Scenes of life, places and urban characters look mysterious, as if captured between two universes, frozen between day and night. Here and there, a luminous halo hovers above the city, like an observing star. Through his enigmatic modus operandi, the photographer creates a disturbing dismantling of our preconceptions. We no longer know where we are. The city is indeed Wuhan, now famous worldwide. But was it before or after the pandemic? When did the photographer get lost? Has he ever been there?
The text of French philosopher and poet Johan Grzelczyk which accompanies the images makes us slip into the artificial and gleaming night. His words seem to glide on, break off, hide under the shadows by questioning our way of inhabiting a drifting world. Such dystopian atmosphere ponders overs our freedom of movement on a land where distance no longer exists, shortened by technology, where fog already seizes forgotten landscapes.
Like an echo of "La Jetée" by Chris Marker, the book brings us to discover a distant, strangely familiar city, which holds its breath under the threat of an immense sun. It echoes our resistance, our ability to reinvent ourselves, to find new ways of living in the city.