Belgium-based photographer Vincent Fournier is drawn to the contrast between rough, primal landscapes and sleek high technology. His “Space Project” series focuses on national space programs, which often do high-tech research in extreme geographic locations. He’s traveled around the world to photograph places such as the Kennedy Space Center, the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, the Guiana Space Center, and Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.
His large-format photographs of these centers seem eerie and unreal, like stills from a moody science fiction film. Fournier explained via email:
My work is influenced by actual research in science regarding space exploration, robotics, new technologies, design, medicine, architecture…I am also a storyteller based on true things. The situations I stage are at the edge of documentary and fiction. They look odd sometimes but we can see that it could be true as well. I like the sense of blur, uncertainty, floating between two opposite things. Serious and ludicrous, sense and non sense, organic and artificial…I am playing with contradiction and leave the interpretation open.
Fournier has been chosen as a 2011 artist in residence with the Imagine Science Film Festival, based in New York. His work will be shown at this year’s festival in October.
Vice Magazine’s web outlet, VBS.tv, trailed Fournier on his most recent trip this spring, to photograph the space shuttle prior to its last flight. You can watch the mini-documentary here: