For his series ‘L’inachevé‘ (‘The Unfinished’), French photographer Julien Lombardi traveled through Armenia to capture the country’s state of constant transformation since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
After studying ethnology, Lombardi found his way into photography with a focus on documenting ordinary moments with an artistic approach. His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout Europe. Lombardi’s photographs from Armenia were taken on extended trips between 2012 and 2014 and below he shares his insights behind the images.
“During my first visit to Armenia in 2012, I discovered the complexities of a young nation in the midst of a building process.”“During my first visit to Armenia in 2012, I discovered the complexities of a young nation in the midst of a building process. The country’s geographical location has limited its ability to establish a political model. Armenia is a small, landlocked nation that has contentious diplomatic relations with certain neighbours. All these factors contribute to its isolation, leaving us confronted with the reality of a society that is evolving on the fringes, according to its own rules and concept of time.”
“How is it possible to document a nation in a state of flux?”“This situation has undeniably carried over into the visual realm – contemporary Armenia lies outside the camera’s lens. Documents illustrating the development of this young republic are non-existent and there is a stunning lack of images, which are either absent or hidden. In terms of visual representation, the country truly is a “blank print”. It’s an environment in which everything keeps moving, but nothing definitive ever occurs. How is it possible to document a nation in a state of flux? To bear witness to a memory that has yet to be completely formed?”
“These challenges lay bare the limits of a visual investigation and raise questions about the ability of the photographic medium to capture an elusive present. My approach therefore aims to create repositories for a future memory; I collect fragments of spaces liable to become the backdrop for actions yet to come. The series of images resulting from this approach constitutes a set of fictitious documents whose content remains a possibility to be realised. The photos are awaiting development, just like the country that inspired them.”
"The photos are awaiting development, just like the country that inspired them."
All images © Julien Lombardi