Each of us has a certain image about Europe. Some think of the continent, others’ thoughts go towards the European Union, there are people for which Europe means mainly culture, history or wars, and the list is far from being complete. Jean-Marc Caracci sees probably its inhabitants as the representative element of Europe, so he invested time, talent, vision and money in the project “Homo Urbanus Europeanus”. He put in his mind to reach all the capitals of Europe to take photos of Europeans in his quest for finding the European urban human. To see where has he already been and what images he collected from there, feel free to visit the website of the project, http://homo.urbanus.free.fr/europeanus.
Even if here and there you can recognize in his pictures a city where visited by you, watching his photographs you notice that J-M.C does not aim the representative buildings of the visited capitals, he even runs away from them and ignores the tourist guides. Yes, it is hard to take photos in Prague retaining yourself from dedicating at least a shot to the Charles Bridge or in Paris to avoid the Eiffel Tower, and if you reach though the Brandenburg Gate exactly when a man you desperately wish to photograph passes by, to make it unnoticeable that the background consists of the most visited tourist site of Berlin. But Caracci’s art and vision do not look for the unique and the representative, but for the common, something what unites, not separates, Europe. Each building caught in his pictures tells you that it lies in a city. And if you are European you can without much trouble remark that the city has something familiar to you, even if you do not exactly know what is it.
I saw all the photographs of the project that appear today on its site and in each of them the most important element is the man. However much unpredictable are the ones immortalised in what will remain after the consumption of the project, they were defeated by Jean-Marc Caracci’s inspiration and patience. He waited for them, stole an image of them and let them fly again in Europe without them even noticing the important contribution they brought to “Homo Urbanus Europeanus”. None of them wears anything specific to a country or a zone, you could find yourself in your daily casual dressing in any photo if you were inspired to pass by when Jean-Marc was there, waiting.
I cannot say that I am a fan of the white/black photography, but I find it the right choice for the HUE project. It would be nice to be able to bring some arguments for this, but, after all, the way we perceive art does not always take criteria and rules into account, and sometimes it is enough to say “it’s the way I feel”. I read some of the interviews regarding his project our photographer did and I realized that sometimes it was hard for him to express in words what he has already said via his images. What is Europe, who is Homo Urbanus Europeanus? The answers can be here and, respectively, me or you. Because, after all, Europe is something that unites, not separates, us.
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