Romain Thiery (b. 1988) started out by documenting the forgotten patrimony of southwest France, the region in which he was born. Building on the desire to capture places that people no longer inhabit, the photographer has since moved into offering a visual sense of renewal to universal structures through an attention to texture, light and the notion of absence. Dusty windows and ivy-laden pillars are dappled with the warmth of yellows and greens – signs of life despite the overriding sense of silence that fills the spaces. Meanwhile, concrete rubble, marble ceilings and strewn branches provide spontaneous textural contrasts amongst the manmade structures. Emptiness, whilst inherently a negative concept, provides the entire basis for the images – cracked floors, overgrown pathways and iconic staircases are left without an audience, to become evidence of the passage of time.
Mária Švarbová’s Swimming Pool fills places of recreation with a sense of emptiness and static stillness.
The Inaugural Magnum and LensCulture Photography Award
This year the Magnum Photos has teamed up with LensCulture, one of largest destinations for discovering contemporary photography.