A few weeks ago, Leonore and I thoroughly enjoyed watching a playthrough of “The Last of Us” on youtube, like a TV show. Apart from the fantastic story and the really well done emotional simulation of the game, we were taken by the post-apocalyptic setting, of course!
Yesterday Leonore proposed to visit Thiers, a small city in the Auvergne region of France, known for it’s manufactures of knifes. It has had it’s heyday sometime in the 19th century and today presents a very interesting scene. In a valley, very aptly called the “Creux d’Enfer”, basin of hell, you can see an array of decaying mills and factories, though some of them still being used and sometimes even inhabited. Talking of apocalyptic feeling, you need no more!
What I personally liked about this, is how people set up their dwellings amidst all those ruins. In the valley and especially on top of it, where the modern city of Thiers is enthroned. This reminds me of some metropolitan appartments, where people leave walls show their brick bowels, or decorate with old machine parts or other metallic trinkets. Imagine a garden between a quite vivid river and a half crumbled forge and as an evening panorama a dead industrial zone. If that’s not an impressive memento mori!
There is even evidence, that I’m not alone thinking like this, as we discovered some way out of the creux d’enfer a newly renovated residence with a sports car in the drive way and they installed an exhibition center for contemporary art. I’m even imagining some science fiction happenings taking place there, the atmosphere is unbeatable.
Here are some photos out of this series, Leonore will also use some of these on her Behance profile, all of them are children of her trigger-finger. If you need some advance on dystopian visual vocabulary, Thiers is a place to go! But make sure to check out the still living tradition of cutlery too!
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