Quentin Lacombe

I have just come across the work by Quentin Lacombe. And I’m intrigued by it.

Lacombe discovered photography when an architecture student. In an article in the BJP, Lacombe describes the medium as a “gateway to the world”, while also making it possible to study other fields that may otherwise be “inaccessible” (2018).

Harena Now has certainly given me the opportunity to study geology in more detail than I ever probably would have.

The same BJP article states that it is photography’s ability to not only transcribe reality but deform it that captivates Lacombe the most.

In his book Event Horizon (see Fig. 1), Lacombe has melded photograms, solargraphs, pieces of animal images, pictures of observatories and bits of technology into layered large-scale colourful collages that seep into one another even as you turn a page.

Fig. 1: Lacombe, 2016. Event Horizon

What I seem to be drawn to in photographs is often the lack of the human form. I have always been intrigued by work that seems to imply human is no more such as Henk Van Rensbergen and Gina Glover.

On Lacombe’s website, a description of Event Horizon is given as follows:

The term “Event Horizon” is the astronomic term that describes the boundary around a black hole beyond which events cannot propagate, therefore producing space and time warps. This book is an attempt to construct a personal cosmology through photographic means. In this curved cosmos, different entities – organic matter, animals, inanimate and architectural objects, all having equal agency – roam along an endless horizon line.

The images imply that humans are hidden away or have simply vanished. Or maybe I’m channelling a latent reference to films such as Close Encounter of the Third Kind. Although oddly, one of the main characters in that film is also called Lacombe; perhaps this Lacombe has also channeled memories of the movie.

His approach to the mixing of photographic genres and content is something that appeals to me aesthetically. At times it seems the work of a madman, while at others there is quiet beauty.

I feel it is planting seeds for my own experimentation and development – this Event Horizon does not seem to be a void but a portal for creativity.


Figure 1: LACOMBE, Quentin. 2016. Event Horizon.  1904. Paris: RVB Books


LACOMBE, Quentin. quentinlacombe.com [online]. Available at: http://www.quentinlacombe.com/Index_eh.html [accessed July 7, 2018].

WARNER, Marigold. 2018. ‘Quentin Lacombe’s Alternate Cosmology’. BJP-Online. Available at: http://www.bjp-online.com/2018/07/quentin-lacombes-alternate-cosmology/ [accessed July 7, 2018].