Abandonment and splendor. Here is an antithesis that fits perfectly into the paradox of the aestheticism and the poetic of the ruin.
The traveler often finds that the dialogue he wants to establish between the ruin and the past is interrupted. Where does the artistic value of the ruin come from ?
According to Auguste Perret in "Le Musée Moderne", if the structure is not worthy of remaining visible, the architect has not fulfilled his mission. Architecture is what makes beautiful ruins. According to John Ruskin, on the other hand, ruin must be conceived as a physiological phase in the life of a monument, and it would be wrong to make it a romantic attitude full of regrets.
The ruin then has two types of values, one historical/inevitable and the other aesthetic. The first one diverts the spectator from the contemplation of the object itself to the benefit of the information it conveys, while for the second one the appreciation is attached to the aspect of the object in an intransitive way, without aiming to acknowledge. For Chateaubriand, perception of time and perception of space are closely correlated, and the landscape must be imbued with memories in order to arouse an aesthetic emotion. By looking for the intention at the origin of what is ruined, the traveler tries to find at the same time its aesthetic value and its artistic value. But it is then to make depend these values on the fragmentary and indexical nature of the object.
Many writers and artists have tried to demystify why we, as human beings, are particularly attracted to these dying buildings. According to Chateaubriand "All men have a secret attraction for the ruins”. This feeling is due to the fragility of our nature, to a secret conformity between these destroyed monuments and the rapidity of our existence.
Hubert Robert's vision is based on the principle of past-present / present-future. The ruin is interpreted as a consequence of the future. That the man was by the idea of the future and the quality of its traces in front of the erosion, one of the dimensions of its existence.
The ruin is the balance between memory and oblivion. It is also the bridge between the past and the present. A portal to parallel universes.
Artists, such as the painter Hubert Robert answer to this question with his work: "The Great Gallery of the Louvre in ruins" which projects us into a future if not inevitable at least probable and cries out the vanity of civilizations.
The broken parts in a ruin require our imagination to fill them in. They are places an observer can get lost, where time slips away.
Ruins remind us that the human body will one day degrade, that life is fragile and fleeting. In addition, they fill us with an evocative melancholy and form moments of stillness in our hectic lives.
Finally, Mankind has always lived among its own ruins. Since our earliest history, we have explored ruined places, feared them and drawn inspiration from them, and we can trace that complex fascination in our art and writing.
There is nothing more to add except to admire the destructive beauty of nature on the works of Man. Since the dawn of time, Mother Nature has been writing our future. She has the soul of an artist, and offers us spectacular paintings conducive to imagination and contemplation.
This series is our testimony to an era that will soon be over.