Usually photography is used to record reality. But why shouldn’t we use it to envision the future as well?
15 October, 2016
Text: Guido van Eijck
‘Imagine an Earth destroyed by climate change, war, pollution and toxic waste. All we have left is plastic and metal,’ says Casper Fitzhue (1990), a photographer studying in Antwerp. In this situation, people would be forced to think of something new.
At first glance, Fitzhue’s futuristic images might seem computer generated, but they are actually the result of a lengthy and skilful process. From the plastic of model warplanes, tanks and helicopters, he made new types of flowers. Fitzhue: ‘At first they looked more like satellites or space ships. I hung the flowers upside down by a thread and photographed them against a black or white background. The flowers really started coming alive when I used colour gels. You can almost smell them now.’
Fitzhue used a long shutter time. Because the flowers are in motion, we perceive a flow of colours and get a sense of depth. ‘It cost me 1200 photos to get that first one right,’ says Fitzhue. The images aren’t completely sharp, but that wasn’t the intention. ‘Everything is handmade. I want you to see the plastic of the flowers, the metal frame, my finger prints.’
His flowers symbolise nostalgia, the things we miss when they’re no longer there, but they also symbolise hope. Fitzhue considers himself a cyber optimist, he says. He isn’t actually afraid the world is doomed. ‘I think we’re creative and inventive enough to prevent that from happening.’