Enormous statues have been erected around the globe for centuries, omnipresent memorials to historical figures and events. Fabrice Fouillet’s series Colosses—a collection of photographs of the world’s most imposing monuments—makes these familiar sights downright strange through a simple shift in perspective. It’s not the size and scale that interests him, but their place in the surrounding landscape. The result can be dizzying and disorienting.
“I was first intrigued by the human need or desire to built gigantic declarations,” said Fouillet. “I was not especially looking for the ‘spectacular’ in the series—even if the dimensions of the statues are—but I wanted to explore how such huge monuments fit in the landscape despite their traditional social, political, or religious functions.”
Fouillet frames these sites from the sidelines, capturing the perspective you don’t see in postcards. He frames Dai Kanon in Sendai, Japan, from a few blocks away, for example. Christ the King in Świebodzin, Poland, is framed from behind. In some cases, he shoots wide enough to include mundane details of life and the people living in the shadow of these looming monoliths. Laundry flaps in the breeze beneath the imposing facade of Ataturk Mask in Izmir, Turkey, and a Coca-Cola machine sits just down the hill from Grand Byakue Kannon in Takazaki, Japan. Fouillet appears to be toying with our notions of the sacred and profane.