There’s always been something vaguely terrifying about colossal statues. It’s partly their towering size, yes, the idea that they might suddenly animate and lay waste to their surroundings. But there’s something more uncanny there, that looking at this incredible series by photographer Fabrice Fouillet, we still can’t quite pinpoint. The project, which Fouillet called “Colosses,” features structures mostly from Asia, a few from Europe, and none from North America, as the Statue of Liberty seems too reproduced to be included in this series of largely mysterious monuments. Surprisingly, many of them were built in the last 5 years. Fouillet writes:
Although hugeness is appealing and exhilarating in its own right, I was first intrigued by thehuman-sized desire behind these gigantic declarations. Then, I asked myself how such works could be connected to their surroundings. How can they fit in the landscapes, despite their excessive dimensions and their necessarily symbolic functions?
Thus, I chose to photograph the statues outside their formal surroundings (touristic or religious), and to favor a more detached view. This detachment enabled me to offer a wider view of the landscape and to place the monuments in a more contemporary dimension.
Human figures appear sporadically and confront their own insignificance in relation to the greatness of the symbols looming above. The physical relationship between the statues and their surroundings recalls the spectator’s own body, albeit on a grand scale.