Dimitri de Larocque Latour – Genius Loci

Exhibition from August 28th to September 23, 2018

“Any heritage site contains a memory, an energy, a breath of life. Solitary ruins, majestic palaces, mature forests, symbolic stairs, these various places proclaim excess as well as harmony; throughout centuries, they’ve captured all the human passions, transmitting them to those ready to listen and understand.  Each image from  “Genius Loci”,  explores the invisible, a search for echoes, lingering silhouettes, paving the way towards a world surrounded by mysteries. Enigmatic places, and even more so if we listen to their legends;  maintained by evanescent bodies whose voices mingle with the songs of the air and water. 

Those figures are the Genius Loci. Each civilisation possesses its own Genii -   tricksters, fairies, genius loci, stryges, penates, ghosts... the Genius is sometimes perceived as an accomplice or an adversary, a friendly or malicious spirit. Since his childhood, Dimitri has roamed among  monuments searching for them. 

Image rhymes with magic; may each one take you into another dimension of reality, more ethereal, more mystic, and where crossing the shadow of a Woman in White will seem completely normal. 

Two men have helped set course to my vocation: first of, my ancestor, an artist-painter, Jacques de Larocque Latour. He often painted legendary characters such as the "Mélusine fairy”, the Woman in White from the Mortemer Abbey or the Wolves’ Herdsman. These characters were always staged in spectacular places: in front of a chaotic road dominated by a ruined castle, or in forests full of dead trees. The atmosphere, the colours, all of it fascinated me. My eye now seeks them for real. 

Then, already passionate about mysterious places, in 2006 I discovered the work of British photographer Sir Simon Marsden. A total shock and a discovery of the infra-red process,  which then became my preferred technique. Beyond the work, I’m also fascinated by Simon Marsden, the person. Our paths often cross in certain places and I see his melancholic, ghost hunter silhouette also trying to find peace among the monuments looking for their own ghosts.  

Finally, how can one forget the work of painters Caspar David Friedrich and John Atkinson Grimeshaw? Their vivid and powerful landscapes, by dusk or moonlight, are also an inspiration.”

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About the Artist

Aged 22, Dimitri de Larocque Latour pursues a Master in history at the university of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.  His final paper deals with the representations of the Woman in White in 19th century France; referring to tales and legends,  the operas of Scribe and Boidelieu , the paintings of Dargent, Victor Hugo during his exile in Jersey. The places he photographs are often associated with a legend of a Woman in White. Dimitri is also the creator and animator of a French show called « Tête-à-tête », broadcasted on TV78, where he seeks to stimulate or comfort the vocations of students by interrogating personalities from diverse horizons.