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Founded in 1870, the Samaritaine is one of the most emblematic buildings in Paris, with a subtle blend of Art Deco and Art Nouveau. In parallel with a major campaign to produce works by some fifty artists (presented in the book Samaritaines, published in January 2021), the Samaritaine has given carte blanche to photographers Pierre-Olivier Deschamps and Vladimir Vasilev, who were able to access the building site between 2015 and 2020, and follow the metamorphosis of the building.
This colossal construction site of more than 80,000 m2 on eleven levels, in the heart of Paris, thus became the playground of the two artists for five years. Pierre-Olivier Deschamps was interested in the architecture, the variations in scale and the extraordinary colours created by the organised chaos of the building site. This work with a photographic camera reveals an unexpected beauty through this pictorial approach to the site. Vladimir Vasilev, for his part, was interested in both the building site and the men and women who were working in this anthill, offering a multifaceted view of this transformation.
The book Métamorphose combines these two approaches in a chronological sequence, enriched by a text by Christian Caujolle and an interview with the two artists, which contextualise this very special photographic campaign.