About three years ago, in 2017, the photographer François Prost presented a fascinating and surprising photographic project. Titled “Paris Syndrome” – inspired by the Paris syndrome, a psychosomatic pathology that mainly affects Japanese tourists visiting the French city and manifests itself as a discomfort derived from the difference between the idealized vision of the place and its real appearance – the photographic series compared famous places in the French capital with views of Tianducheng, a Chinese city known precisely because it reproduces all the architecture and monuments of Paris. While we’re waiting for the book “Paris China“, out in September and published by Hoxton Mini Press, Francois Prost hasn’t stood still and, a few months ago, presented a very similar project, but this time the protagonist is Venice.
Entitled “Venice Syndrome“, this new project does not compare the Italian location with another city, but with two different places. So, if on the right we have the photos taken in Venice, from Rialto to San Marco, on the left there are some shots taken in a suburb of Hangzhou and other products in Las Vegas.
The peculiarity of the project is that, although the photographs are really very similar, François invites us to focus more than on the common elements, on the different aspects, which obviously derive from the fact that the three places have a different history and culture. Although the architecture and reproductions of the monuments are studied in detail, Venice remains one of the most visited cities in the world, with a centuries-old history of cultural, artistic and political contamination; Hangzhou is a quiet residential district; the reproduction of Las Vegas is a tourist attraction located between skyscrapers and casinos.
We have selected some photographs from “Venice Syndrome”, but to find out all of them go to François Prost’s website.