From 2 to 31 December, as part of its partnership with the guest house-gallery Le Cactus Bleu, Domaine de Rocheville presents a new photo exhibition entitled “Mutatis Mutandis”. Come and discover the atypical universe of photographer Npier, the result of his exploration of abandoned places.
Who is Npier ?
Pierre Neret -Npier is his artist name- is a French contemporary photographer from Louhans, Burgundy. He travels around the world to discover and photograph unusual places and abandoned buildings where time seems to have stopped.
His works are exhibited in several countries: in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the United States and of course in France, in particular in the house-gallery Le Cactus Bleu, located in Indre et Loire, with which the Domaine de Rocheville has been collaborating artistically for the past year.
His work has been awarded in numerous international competitions such as the Budapest International Foto Awards, the IPA International Photography Awards, the Moscow International Foto Awards, the Inventa Awards and many others.
The artist Npier and his aesthetic approach
Npier’s photographs tell the story of buildings with an old-fashioned charm: once luxurious, they have been dilapidated by time. The ornaments, sculptures, frescoes, and dilapidated architecture bear witness to a vanished grandeur.
Sometimes the place seems perfectly empty of any trace of life and one can almost hear the silence while contemplating the scene, sometimes nature has taken over and the vegetation has invaded the space. Man, who created these places, is in any case never directly present.
The artist plays with contrasts and oppositions: space and time, shadow and light, strength and weakness… He pays particular attention to lines, perspective and, like a sculptor, to the materials of the interiors to which he gives life through photography.
Thematic photo series
Npier has explored several thematic series
- Mutatis Mutandis, a series of photos of the interiors of abandoned villas and palaces, dominated by soft, slightly faded colours, with evocative titles (“Abyss”, “Diamond in the Dark”, “Angels”…)
- Mezzanine, which underlines the beauty of the monumental staircases and the wrought iron railings, like an allegory of the passage (“En équilibre”, “Le Fer”…)
- Nature Law : views of overgrown ruins, where nature seems to fight architecture (“Castelorrizon”, “Eternity”, “High Hopes”…)
- Target Audience : a set of photos on the theme of abandoned public places: cultural places (theatres, concert halls…), sports events, deserted by the public (“Uppercut”, “Rosso”, “The Crystal Ship”…)
- The Dream Synopsis, a series that illustrates the photographer’s dreams in black and white, with a clear cinematic influence (“Computer”, “Hybrid Destiny”, “Night running”…).
Photographing time as it passes
The core of Npier’s work leads to a reflection on the passing of time.
We live in a crazy world where we are constantly running out of time and where consumption is an integral part of our daily lives. I see my work as a break with our hyper-civilised age.NPier
Much slower than digital photography, this artisanal method allows him to work at a different pace, in line with his philosophy, and to reconnect with the original ceremonial of photography, the magic of the black veil, the waiting for the result….
The artist is thus a humble observer of these forgotten places.
The Mutatis Mutandis photo exhibition
The photo exhibition at the Domaine de Rocheville, in Parnay, during the month of December, includes a majority of photographs from the “Mutatis Mutandis” series and two extracts from the “Mezzanine” series.
What does Mutatis Mutandis mean ?
The title of the photo exhibition, “Mutatis Mutandis”, comes from a Latin phrase meaning “what should be changed has been changed”. Like the expression “all things being equal”, it announces that two things or two situations will be compared without taking into account their differences.
Indeed, Npier’s works freeze time and show the transformation at work: they highlight the traces of a glorious past while underlining the decline in motion.
What is urbex photography?
One can hardly go through the photo exhibition without making the link with urbex photography (a short for URBan and EXploration), a subfield of architecture photopgraphy born in the 1970s and which is attracting more and more artists.
With urbex, no portraits or landscapes. This photographic art consists of photographing places created by the hand of man and then abandoned: factories, ruined houses, schools, hospitals that have closed their doors…
These places fascinate photographers because of their aesthetic and historical interest, and also because of the mystery that emanates from them, the fascination perhaps being reinforced by the potential danger of exploration, which requires a great deal of work to locate and document, not to mention obtaining the necessary legal authorisations.
A vernissage evening to explore contemporary art and wine at the winery
For several years, the Domaine de Rocheville, a Saumur wine producer located in Parnay, has had the pleasure of transforming its large tasting room into an art gallery. It regularly hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists: painting, drawing or photography.
During the evening, discover the new art exhibition while enjoying a gourmet tasting of the many new vintages of the estate with matching cheeses and charcuterie.
Enjoy a warm and friendly moment of exchange in the heart of the vineyards, around a nice fire.
Gift ideas for the festive season
Following its three-year conversion to Organic farming, from 2016 to 2018, many of the estate’s vintages are now certified organic agriculture.
This is the perfect opportunity to taste delicious Saumur Blancs (La Jouvencelle, La Dame, Le Clos de la Thibaudière), elegant Saumur Champigny (Le Page, Le Prince, Le Roi, le Fou du Roi) and our new release, Les Hauts de Bourreau 2018, the estate’s first red wine cuvée aged in Limoges ceramic eggs (AOC Saumur Champigny)!
Several wine boxes will be available in the shop at very festive prices that evening.
Npier’s photographs are also for sale, in various sizes and in limited editions. Each print is signed, numbered, titled and delivered with a certificate of authenticity.
Don’t miss this visual and gustatory exploration with Philippe and Agnès Porché (Domaine de Rocheville) and their team, and Thierry Saudemont and Carine Godefroy (Le Cactus Bleu).
Meeting point : Domaine de Rocheville in Parnay, 8 km from Saumur, in the Maine et Loire (Loire Valley). Enter via the Route des Vins de Saumur (Saumur Wine Road) and then turn into Chemin de Béniquet (49730 Parnay).
Friday 2 December, from 6.30 pm to 9 pm: come and attend the opening of the photo exhibition and taste the new vintages and festive wines of Rocheville. Free entrance upon registration by phone or by email.
From 2 to 31 December 2022, you can discover the current exhibition during the opening hours of the estate (Monday-Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm). Free admission.