This documentary series of black and white images is the second part of the Homagium project, which runs in Belgium, France and Germany. In contrast to the first part (see Homagium I), where the main element is a romantic story and its fantasy interpretation, the ruins in this part are presented as independent historical objects. Here I take a liberty to say, that the Gothic buildings (in my opinion) are a four-dimensional objects : apart from the three main parameters, their fourth dimension and chief sculptor, which determines their existence and transformation, is time.
It’s notable and not unexpected that these changes are likely to have a degenerative nature. Ruins are changing, they grow smaller, they lose plate tracery and stability. The remote past, frozen in them, is drifting apart from our modern life. It has always been a main reason motivating me to photograph the historic ruins. As long as they stand ground, we still have a chance to touch them, to feel the spirit of bygone centuries, remembering the master-builders of these great constructions, and the tragic events of the French Revolution, which led them to demise.
That drives me every time to "freeze" the moment of degradation using photography. It’s interesting to observe how the time works. Unfortunately a human’s life is too short and I will not be able to see major changes to compare them. But even nova day when I find old photos of these places, I’m surprised to notice that changes are enormous, thought hardly 100-120 years passed...
I use black and white photography to emphasize the graphic of forms, structures and textures as they play a major narrative role in Gothic architecture. Every stone, every brick, every tree, breaking an ancient wall, every crack and even elements applied to stop the destruction for a while, are very important. And of course, an important role here is played by the environment and the landscape. They tell about today’s reality of old Gothic buildings and how it affects them. In fact it is quite possible that after a little while it will be different too and only picture will be able to show what we have lost .