Rising Sea Levels, Brighton, UK (2008-2009)
With this project, I took the West Pier in Brighton as an imaginary deserted landscape struck by severe rising sea levels.
How do you photograph a phenomenon as slow as the sea level rise? How do you approach a phenomenon which is currently making the coastlines retreat around the world and yet at an ever so slow pace?
Piers fascinated me. They connect the land to the sea. They also are at the forefront of averse weather. The West Pier in particular consisted in remnants when I first went to Brighton. The structure was deliberately set on fire at least two times and was severely hit by a series winter storms afterwards. Pictures of the collapsing dome are easy to find on the web.
I photographed the Pier at low tide and at night inspired by the often apocalyptic dark skies of the movies envisioning our future in 20, 30, 100 years from now.
The project came to fruition in the course of a five-day workshop under the patronage of Magnum Photos at the University of Brighton. Accidentally, Carl De Keyzer was one of the three tutors on the workshop and he was working on a similar project, later published under the title Moments before the Flood.