Lucie & Simon | Silent World
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Julia Schiller
In the Silent World project, we wanted to study and transform our world’s most symbolic metropolises into imaginary, fictional, impossible places. In our work, we always try to study and put into image the frontier between reality and the world of dreams. Our desire was to put the viewers into a puzzling and uncomfortable place, pushing him to put into question notions of time and space, but mostly our role and position towards the becoming of our world.
From a technical point of view, we wanted to do a project mixing two periods of History of Photography. The beginning of Photography’s techniques in the 19th century by realizing a single very long exposure image of several hours. This way all elements in movement (cars, persons, etc) disappear. We developed a black filter for our camera, which is usually used in Astronomy for analyzing stars and space and which doesn’t allow the camera to receive enough light, therefore needs several hours to record one image.
From there on, we do “classical” images of a fraction of a second, and start working on the computer for several days mixing all these details so that the final image looks like a instant, an frozen moment stolen from an imaginary world.
Living in Paris, France, Lucie & Simon have been working together since 2005.
Lucie & Simon’s projects are conceived as stories which all outsmart our perception of reality by staging a quirky view of daily life.
From urban or family solitude to existential wanderings, their compositions capture different moods of man’s silent melancholy, focusing on the narrow chink between our existence and the world of dreams.
In an enigmatic universe rekindling the memory of Edward Hopper’s paintings, each character seems totally absorbed by the timelessness of dreams.
Using overhead perspectives, working the light in a pictorial way or creating illusions thru filmed images, Lucie & Simon’s work blurs the frontiers between reality and fantasy, giving the spectator the allusion he is entering an inner world hidden from the figures being photographed.
Scenes are full of cinematic references often reminding us of David Lynch’s dream-like universe or distress among the younger generation in Gus Van Sant’s work.
For the past few seasons, the young Franco-German ‘double act’ has been collecting the most prestigious awards. Winner of the Nestlé scholarship at the 7th International Grand Prix for Photography in Vevey, they won the HSBC Photography Award in 2010 among other international prizes.
Julie Enckell Julliard
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Jenish Museum of Fine Arts, Vevey, Switzerland.
To view more of Silent World and other work by Lucie & Simon, please visit