Francesca Piqueras

For a decade, Francesca Piqueras photographed strange technological fossils washed up on the shores of the world's seas and oceans. She inaugurates, with us, the Anthropocene. An era shaped by man, an era in the geological sense where the traces of an industrial activity in perpetual renewal can be read with the naked eye, on the surface of the globe, without the need to explore the strata of a vanished age. No archaeologist will look at these carcasses: they belong to a present which transforms, swallows up and regurgitates in the same impulse the obscure tools of an age of iron and concrete. Her sensitive vision continues to question without judging this incessant conflict between construction and decay, creation and collapse, where nature and humanity confront each other in a battle without winner.

Francesca Piqueras knows how to capture the subtle play between balance and imbalance, between order and entropy. Its framings animate and put in tension the antagonistic flows which ignore and fight each other, coexist and respond to each other: on one side, the prodigious inventiveness of man, on the other, the irrepressible power of nature. By creating a dimension like this, that is both objective and emotional, Francesca Piqueras defines a space outside of time however deeply anchored in our era, which prefigures the acceleration towards the chaos of origins, in an immutable cycle. A vision which literally takes on a metaphysical meaning, bordering on prophecy. If matter disintegrates and dilutes, if it bears the traces of the ephemeral passage of humanity, it is to better accentuate its possible metamorphosis, into a re-creation independent of both the laws of nature and of the hand of man.

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Thus, Francesca Piqueras photographs mark the emergence of an arbitrary architecture, without apparent purpose or direct meaning, which takes on a life of its own, abstract, and anachronistic forms reinvented by the fantasy of the elements. In this spontaneous geometry, the elements, whether fluid or solid, delimit a universe that is both dreamlike and real, indifferent to our existence. The resulting structures belong to a creative process outside our understanding of the world’s order, natural or human.


It is this parallel existence that Francesca Piqueras chose to explore. This extremely acute observation invites a rereading of our time, a highlighting of the contraction of time itself, which races and stops within the same mechanism, accelerates the past and compresses the future. A time of progress which crushes and curbs fire, rock, water, and men indifferently. Between the raw scars of a brutal transmutation and the fragility of our human condition, the improbable monuments of Francesca Piqueras reign silently over an absurd scene, and forcefully express the unusual, timeless, but fundamentally inventive aesthetic of an archeology contemporary.


Each of her photographs vibrates with a muted energy imbued with gentleness, where the turbulence of man and the elements collide and respond to each other. But the symbolic violence of these conquering architectures contrasts with a subtle, always changing, almost rebellious light. And this very particular reading of the ambiguous relationship between humans and terrestrial or seascapes gives this dreamlike narration a delicate balance between abstraction and figuration, where time is never frozen but only suspended, still undecided on what the future holds.


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