Stéphane Couturier's series 'Chandigarh Replay' signals a return to urban architecture following 'Melting Point'. This more recent series takes its position right in line with many preceding works, whether his Parisian or Berlin series from the 1990s, or even more so, with those made in Seoul and Moscow several years later. Architecture, and to be more precise, urban fabric, is perceived as a 'living organism', to use Couturier’s own words. Always striving for a composition that plays on 'levels of perceiving', strata and layers of memory that make up and deposit sediment on every urban territory: places steeped in history (Paris, Berlin, Rome) or quite the opposite, amnesic (Seoul, Moscow) within which there seems to be always at play a strange elaboration between construction and destruction – both endemic cycles to modern industrialized life. His images play with the opposition between general composition and sense of detail, between view of the whole and close-up reading.
In the series ‘Chandigarh Replay’ Couturier delivers an ambiguous, dark and colourful vision of the Indian city Chandigarh designed by Le Corbusier. With the help of computers, the photographer overlays the facades of the buildings, sad blocks of reinforced concrete and the interior decorated with colourful modernist frescoes. The reality of the city is reduced to flat color surfaces, almost to a backdrop.