Photographer Laurent Kronental takes pictures of the Paris suburbs, built in the middle of the last century in a futuristic style – a memory of an alternative future that did not happen but embodied its expectations in monumental buildings.
The 20th-century era was filled with great ambitions and great events, which could not but leave a meaningful trace. For example, in architecture.
My “Memory of a Future” series is a reflection on the meaning of the existence of “great buildings” in the middle of the last century. The everyday life of the heroes of these pictures, old people from the Parisian suburbs, runs against the background of monuments of human ambition and the post-war race of grandiose architectural structures.
The “Souvenir d’un Futur” photo project is the intermediate result of four years visits by Laurent to the “Big Ensembles”. Traveling through these abandoned and deserted spaces give rise to philosophical questions about indifference to old people. A giant array of these abandoned buildings seems to sink slowly in an endless ocean of concrete. And it is only occasionally that the inhabitants disturb this silent harmony of Art Nouveau.
Despair and hope are faced with skepticism and faith. These “monuments”, living with memories of the time, embody the fragile power of youth, always a reckless believer.