For ever, water has been a scarce and precious utility. It isn't by chance that the downpour myth was born in Mesopotamia, a region where the liquid element was central and was the source of all wealth, hence its sacredness to the living and the dead people.
But its benefits don't let the people forget that they are, at the same time, subject to the whims of two great rivers and of the powerful nature. Men fear drought and the violence of rains and storms that cause, especially during the spring, violent and excessive flash floods. Their waters swollen by snowmelt, the Tigris and Euphrates suddenly overflowing their banks, drowning the valleys, destroying harvests and causing countless damage. By ruining crops, the water appears as the instrument of divine justice.
To temper the excesses of angry Gods and moderate the devastating flood, men struggle to control the rivers by building dikes and canals. They dig wells to supply the water table, shall adjust complex networks of ditches and reservoirs to collect rainwater and irrigate crops. They put all these achievements under the protective deities of Water, and they try to ensure benevolence by prayers and offerings.
Many decades later, men are still trying to tame the uncontrollable. Today, when speaking of water, few people would evoke the divine fate, but more of them rationally use Science to understand its changes, History to predict its future and wit to try to understand and control its behavior.
Water enhances reality by its reflection, creates movements from the extreme random to the predicted geometry, justified by chemistry and physics laws, and is a perfect medium to freeze the human footprint.
This series of photographs evokes both the indomitable energy of the water, the way human appropriates and tries to control this foreign and strange element; and the beauty that water flows may cause intentionally or by chance.
© 2016 - Ronan Le Floc'h