Robin Collyer

Commande photographique sur les silos à grains de la région Centre, 1997

In September 1997, at the invitation of the FRAC Centre and as part of a commission, Robin Collyer produced a series of colour photographs of grain silos in the Centre Region. They were large-format, and imbued with an undeniable pictorial dimension, and photographed with a view camera for a better rendering of both colours and details. Placed systematically in the background, behind a railway track, a cemetery, private houses or plants, the grain silos are dovetailed into their immediate surroundings, while still asserting their own distinctive character. They only ever appear in a partial, truncated view, and are impossible to grasp in their entirety. Collyer subtly stresses the silo/environment dissimilarity by the contrast of structure, colour, light, and the silos’ volume in relation to what surrounds them. A dialogue is struck up between architectures with differing functions (work and production / dwelling and living space), with a concern to shed light on ratios of scale (huge structures/ small dwellings) as much as on social relations. For it is indeed around the silo that an altogether specific geographical and social space is structured.

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