Odomez is a small town in the North of France, just near the Belgian border.
From 1926 to 1965, it was the hometown of one of the biggest chemical-textile factory plants around, the Kuhlmann factory, which spread over 17 ha and employed about 1500 workers. In 1965, the factory was closed ; while the workers' housing project nearby remained inhabited. In 1986, an Emmaüs charity community was granted of a part of the old buildings and settled inside, slowly renovating them. In 2006, the local authorities decide that it is time to destroy the abandoned part of the old factory and start looking for funds. In 2007-2008, the demolition of the abandoned buildings is accomplished, opening the area to plans for roads and parks.
North of France is an area that used to be heavily industrialised and is only now slowly coming out of that era, destroying one by one the many abandoned buildings that scattered its landscape. By its unusual situation, the Kuhlmann factory was somehow emblematic of all these buildings, as it remained abandoned for nearly half a century, and thus slowly transformed itself, from a large industrial complex, to an alien group of half-destroyed buildings.
The first principle of the Odomez Serie is to keep a trace of the old Kuhlmann factory ; not only what is was during its activity, about which little is still known, but also what it became when man left it behind. Now that it is destroyed, the Odomez Serie hopes to keep trace of its existence and create out of what was a stimulatingly strange place.
It nourished my photographic practice for more than four years now, and this book is a sort of résumé of what I was able to do there. It's a selection of 50 from more than a thousand photographs taken. Analog and analog only, mostly taken with a Pentax MX body with SMC lenses.