Souvenirs de Famille
For Invasions, Paris-based photographer Charles Pétillon constructs fantastical scenes in which everyday interiors and landscapes are infested with hordes of white balloons in diverse sizes, each of which is blown up, strung together, and manually installed within the space by the artist and his team.
As the alabaster orbs spill from their abandoned sites of origin, they become an allegory for the invisible markers of human presence and memory. Although each location has since been emptied of human souls, the floating balloons symbolize the intangible remnants of unspoken incidents and happenings. Pétillon selects each structure for its antiquated architecture or style, discovering moments of nostalgia within the urban ruins. Here, spherical ghosts breach ordinary haunts, structures that we would otherwise encounter without any particular notice.
Pétillon describes his balloons as “scars.” Were mankind to abandon our cities and their surrounding environs, we surely would leave behind imprints of our existence. In Pétillon’s vivid imaginings, these scores and impressions manifest themselves as globes that are at once delicate and foreboding, pure and sinister. As airy as they might be, the balloon infestations seem strangely inerasable, as if bound from floating skyward by some invisible force.
Invasions will be on view at Paris’s Maison de la Photographie beginning February 20th.
Play Station 2
All images © Charles Pétillon
via Design Boom