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A Failed Trompe L’oeil: Noémie Goudal’s Observatoires

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Observatoires
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Fiction and reality collide in ‘Observatoires’; a surreal body of work by French artist Noémie Goudal that combines architectural installation and photography. Produced between 2013 and 2014, the series captures industrial buildings set against empty landscapes, abandoned in time and space.

If at first glance, you are confused by ‘Observatoires’ you should be—this is precisely Goudal’s intention. The buildings in her photographs do not exist, they are installations; photographs of small-scale architectural models that have been blown up, printed on paper, mounted on card and then set in the landscape. Though the images have a grainy, documentary feel to them, their content is quickly revealed as illusion. The paper constructions have fold lines and dog-ears, and in some images, even the tape that holds the ‘buildings’ together is visible. The closer you look, the more it seems that Goudal has worked to create a deliberately failed trompe l’oeil.

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All images © Noémie Goudal