Book launch: Fifty High Seasons at The Library Project, Dublin, 25 October 2018
Fifty High Seasons
Shane Lynam’s frst photobook documents unusual 1960’s holiday resorts in the Languedoc region of southern France. Mission Racine was a regional housing plan launched in France in the 1960’s, involving the construction of a series of innovative resort towns along the coast between Montpellier and Perpignan. Shane takes this idea as his starting point and adds his own lyrical stamp to create a semi-fctional space that is best experienced in the book form. Shot over seven years, the resulting images are a refection on the history and psychology of public space and the photographer’s affec-tion for the towns involved.
In 1963 President de Gaulle initiated a regional development plan known as ‘Mission Racine’ to develop a wild and windy stretch of French coastline between Montpellier and Perpignan into a series of resorts. Avant-garde architects were hired to construct unique and unusual spaces, which would be responsive to the local environment and focused on the individual. Although the project provided a new source of income local-ly, Mission Racine was not only about enriching the region. It included an 18% quota of social housing to allow more French citizens to take advantage of their time off work. “I have spent the majority of my summer breaks in the region since 2003. From the very beginning, I felt compelled to photograph the surfaces of the colourful surround-ings in a way that I have never experienced elsewhere. Although much has changed in my life since I began making the work in 2010, this project has maintained a constant presence.” Fifty High Seasons refects on the cumulative effect of half a century of tourism on the innovative built environment established by Mission Racine, while showing why I fell for its unique charm.
Fifty High Seasons was designed by Joseph Miceli, a Turin based designer who special-ises in artists’ books and type design. It was printed at Kopa Printing House in Kau-nas under the guidance of photographer Andrew Miksys whose self-published books, ‘Tulips’ and ‘Disko’, have received critical acclaim. The book design aims to add a new layer to the work with pastel colour splashes that act as palette cleansers as the viewermoves from image to image. The open spine bind-ing allows pages to lay completely fat so that the viewer is able to see every detail of the image. The archival postcards which open and close the book serve as a backdrop to the images without interfering with or diluting the effect of the edit.
Shane Lynam is an Irish artist and photographer. He grew up in Brussels and went on to live in Paris for six years, before moving back to Dublin in 2012. He studied Politics at UCD Dublin and then European Studies at KU Leuven. After graduating, he worked in the health sector for a Paris based European patient association before he decided to focus solely on art photography. He completed an MA in Documentary Photography at the renowned Newport School of Photography in 2012. Since then he has been building up his practice in Dublin. He splits his time between long-term art projects and working with media and commercial clients. By immersing himself in built environments over a prolonged period and using a very particular visual vocabulary, his work seeks to refect on the function and history of public space.