When the hotel-spa Le Calendal proposed the theme of architecture in the Arlesian heritage for this photographic commission, I immediately thought about the awe-inspiring Roman circus, the Roman theatre, or even the place de la République, the Van Gogh space, the Musée Départemental Arles Antique, so-called the blue museum … Indeed, the list of the amazing Arles architectural heritage seems to stretch to the infinite and is the object of thematic touristic routes. These monuments-symbols of the city are photographed hundred times a day. I thought it would be more interesting to pay attention to an architectural item that only the inhabitants of Arles, the strollers, and the pilgrims on the Compostelle route know. I looked at a bridge.
There are few bridges in Arles: a very touristic one, the Van Gogh bridge, famous from the painting entitled the “Trinquetaille bridge”, the only bridge that links the two sides of Arles, and the bridge on the road 113, which includes a bicycle lane and secret passages. One could almost forget the Lions bridge, or what is left of it, that the Arlesians would love to see rebuilt. Bombed during WWII, it took the users to the train station. Today, only the piers ornamented with the symbol of the city face one another and the lions are turning their backs. Nevertheless, the bridge in this room is none of the four I described, indeed, because it is located at the boundary of the city of Arles, even the Departement. It is even the boundary between two worlds: the Occitanie region and the Provence-Alpes-côte d’Azur region. It spans between Fourques and Arles, over the small Rhône which is not that small. Under the shades of tree leaves, basking in the Provençal sun, the photography of this suspended bridge dating back to 1830 invites us to take a walk along the bank of the Rhône, to discover Arles and to rediscover the city using its bridges.
Florian Maurer was born in 1990 in Paris. Initially interested in journalism, and particularly in photojournalism, he studied photography at the Auguste Renoir School in Paris, where he graduated with a degree in photography in 2011. His interest evolved towards an artistic practice, following a B.A in Photography at Paris VIII University, then a Bachelor degree at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles.
His photographic practice focuses on geographical and historical questions, landscapes and towns he visits. From “La Guerre n’a pas eu lieu” (The war that never was) in Albania, to his Master II thesis dealing with artistic photography in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), Florian Maurer develops a corpus on relations between environment and territory, in connection with history and geography.