We were drawn to French-Canadian photographer Benoit Paillé’s photographs like moths to a flame. Like celestial alien beings, Paillé’s squares of light in his project Alternative Landscapes, hover in forest clearings, between hills or in the middle of a deserted or under construction building complex.
“I am first and foremost constantly experimenting with my environment,” Paillé says. “Both social and natural. More specifically, my work focuses on questioning the limits imposed by humans.”
Indeed, Alternative Landscapes, Paillé says that he wants to push the self-imposed limits within which we live; to “redefine the landscape with a luminous presence, playing with the boundaries between the conventions.”
Paillé, who studied biology before turning to photography, has had exhibitions in Japan, California, Barcelona and Russia as well as in his home country of Canada. Using light as a sculptural object he attempts to draw attention to landscapes, which may ordinarily be forgotten.
“To learn more about the constructed image,” Paillé explains. “I build my images to go precisely to the point that is considered too mundane for some attention – revealing the neglected. To do this, I often use artifice – false to show the real – because I believe that photography is not real, but creates reality.”
“I have an approach that could be described as documentary, but only in appearance,” he adds. “Because in reality I do not document anything; I rather seek to transform reality.” You can see more of his work at his site and in The Magic of Light exhibition at PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont.