Toyota ‘fantasy factory’ becomes art

A photograph depicting the inside of a Toyota assembly plant as a ‘fantasy factory’ is on display as part of a well-respected photography competition in Paris.

On display at the Prix Pictet Exhibition in Paris, Stéphanie Couturier’s photograph called Usine Toyota n°1 is part of a series called Melting Point and depicts the Toyota assembly plant in Valenciennes (France).

“Stéphane Couturier’s works at the Valenciennes Toyota factory are in a flagrant break away—in their protocol, their content and their forms—from photography’s documentary system of verity,” says the artist biography on the Prix Pictet website.

“In front of the Toyota factory assembly line, that is say confronted by a veritable metaphor of movement that is perpetual and implacable as is today’s technological world, rationalised, disembodied, automated and more and more subject to the silent and ruthless profit logic, Stéphane Couturier knows that reality is no longer made up of isolated things, of fixed geometrical shapes, but that it has become a reality of flux, in continuous movement and transformation.

“Nothing escapes any more the logic of such flux, not even industry and the assembly line that nevertheless have been the strongest and most solid symbols of modern automation and rationalisation.

“The images by Stéphane Couturier visualize this major phenomenon in today’s world whereby the domains of expertise and rationality the most emblematic of 20th century Western civilization cede place to the new logic of flux.”

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