Jardins de béton
«Living in Paris for two years, and moving around the city especially by walk, I noticed at the entrance to some buildings often built since the 60’s a curious architectural or even urbanistic thing. In jardinières of variable sizes, some of them vast, some of them small, sometimes at ground level or raised up, an assemblage of rocks (more often pebbles) and cement fills up a determined space. These sterile rock gardens punctuate the front of a building and invite the visitor to come in, or to move away. A few compositions distinguish themselves by their exuberance: Zen inspirations, a blooming touch, waves petrified in concrete. Various explanations are presented to the spectator who is a tiny bit amused: lazy green fingers, aesthetic oxymoron, scarecrow for homeless people. I photographed the “jardins de béton” (concrete gardens) that lined on my itineraries and I precisely reported them on a map. Titles of the photographs recall the number of the building and the name of the street.
This series is the first I completely realized about the city where I’m living, since I was not able to tackle it yet. I grew up in the countryside; these “jardins de béton” are a reverse of the gardens that I know and of the landscapes that I photograph, this is one image of urbanity».
© Vivien Ayroles