November 8th - February 21th, 2015

Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre


Hall, Borsig Factory, Eberswalde, Germany, 2007

As part of Le Mois de la Photo 2014, Polka Galerie is delighted to present Industry by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre, an exhibition that echoes the selec-tion of the artistic delegates.

Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre are two young French photographers united, since 2002, by their shared passion for contemporary ruins. “During our visits to ruins, we always try to focus on remarkable buildings, whose architecture embody the psycho- logy of an age and a system, and we observe the metamorphosis of the process of decay”.

When they started, each self-taught member of this duo carried their own 8x10 camera. By 2006, they had developed a shared vision and began using only one camera. After releasing three noted series – The Ruins of Detroit (2005-2009), Theaters (ongoing),  Gunkanjima (2008-2012) – Industry is the fi rst and only body of work, which spans their entire practice.

Over the past twelve years, Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre have systematized their approach. They always follow the same technique: they use a large-format camera and shoot their surroundings with a cold objectivity. Yet, they are able to transcend the apparent idleness of the sites they choose to photograph.

Each time, they start inside the industrial compounds; in the productions halls, machine rooms and control rooms. They then proceed to the administrative and social spaces; offi ces, halls, change rooms – before heading outside.

Inspired by the Dusseldorf school, this young duo once again proves its ability to investigate abandoned places. Industry is the synthesis of the stricto sensus teachins of the Bechers and the romantic poetry of ruins.

Here, Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre deliver a superb document of the evolution of our economies and societies. Their images, scenes steeped in a tender yet unsettling apocalyptic atmosphere, reveal the fl aws of our modern society.


Booklet available at Polka's librairy (7 euros).