Filip Dujardin - Fictions

Although he's from Ghent, a historical city filled with  picturesque buildings, that's not the sort of world photographer Filip Dujardin creates in his own photography work. Instead he has taken photographs of nondescript, often post-modern buildings and remixed them using Photoshop to create strange hybrids. The results may be fantastical, but could never be described as whimsical.

Dujardin's mastery of Photoshop is complete; the "seams" where he's mixed together his source photos are nonexistent. While many of his buildings would be structurally impossible, his ability to create illusions is so good that the buildings begin to seem real.While Dujardin's work is mesmerizing on its own, it also taps into a rich history of imaginary architecture, both utopian and dystopian. One thinks of German Expressionists and Italian Futurists who drew grand, unbuildable schemes in the early 20th century.

Dujardin also fits in a few nods to a fellow Belgian artist, the great surrealist René Magritte. In one of Dujardin's photos, we see a businessman from behind as he enters a bizarre, angular office building. A faceless member of the bourgeoisie, clad in a trench coat and toting a briefcase, the man recalls similar anonymous figures in Magritte paintings. And here's perhaps the greatest trick of all: while Dujardin's fictional buildings are divorced from reality, they give a sly commentary on the current state of architecture. Seeing his series, you can easily image one of those buildings in your street. Reminiscing the banality of everyday bland architecture.

How he works? This extract from Mark Magazine explains it very well:

    Every montage, says Dujardin, is one project. It begins with an idea for a specific image. Often he starts off by building a model of the form he is trying to achieve – at first in cardboard, but he has recently discovered SketchUp. He then goes on a photo safari, often just around the corner, to find suitable buildings "with a lot of the same things," so that they can be cut and pasted and serve as building material. In fact most of the fictional structures are buildings in Ghent, just resampled

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