New York is my first photographic series. In 2009, when I decided to chart a new radical course in my career and to venture into photography, I searched for an idea that would give me the opportunity to create a serious and solid series - already eager to tell a story - and to photograph buildings. New York was offering all of this. My first contact with the city many years before had left me with magnificent memories of erected masterpieces, and the impression that when man had decided to build, he was capable of miracles; scents of pyramids, cathedrals… On the first rooftops and technical terraces I was given access to in this doorway to the New World, I randomly groped my way forward. I wanted to pay tribute to the pathfinders who had given its contemporaneity to the city. In the first images, I saw skyscrapers as visible symbols of the typically American inspiration, audacity and faith in the future. Then, as I was meeting people and spending more time there, I found myself confronted with the reality of New York: the people I was meeting, mostly in the real estate industry, seemed exhausted before they were even 50 years of age. In New York, the path leading to success is a lonely one, confronting a reality of competition and disillusions. In that world, the investment needed to achieve success is perfectly inhuman, and man is obviously overwhelmed by environmental realities that are no longer on scale, or directly serving his deepest aspirations. This harsh reality was giving me a new purpose for my work. The choice of the shooting locations evolved, the human factor was going to slowly disappear from my images, and the gigantic facades were turning glacial. The city of promises was becoming a steel and glass forest, nearly enemy to the human who turns anecdotal. There are hundreds of megacities; nonetheless, I want to stick with this one, clearly because in the collective unconscious, and also in the facts, it is THE city, in that it is perhaps the most stunning representation of a civilization: a little something started out from almost nothing, then emerging, growing, flourishing, and evolving in ways that totally escape its creators - for better or for worse. In this laboratory of the uncertain, that takes in as much as it gives away, I want to continue to observe what is happening to the human. Thus an ongoing process, along with my other projects.
Vincent Jendly was born in Fribourg (Switzerland) in 1969. He grew up in France and settled in Lausanne in 1994, where he currently lives and works. In 2009, he decided to chart a new radical course for his life, becoming a professional photographer. The series New York (2009-2012) has been exhibited in solo shows both in Europe and in the United States, nominated and distinguished in several international photographic competitions, and published in various magazines: Vincent Jendly was finalist of the Voies Off Festival at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles in 2010, and received from the Los Angeles International Photography Awards a mention in Architecture photography. The series was published by the magazine L’Insensé (France), as part of their special issue on Swiss contemporary photographers, and was shown at Kaunas International Photography Festival in Lithuania in 2011. In 2012, Vincent Jendly’s series was shown at the Festival CIRCULATION(s) in Paris as well as at the Nuits Photographiques de Pierrevert (France), and was again finalist at the Voies Off Festival in Arles for their 2012 edition. It was also granted an Honorable Mention at the Nuits de la Photo in La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH) in February 2013. His latest project, La Poste, was selected for the Nuit des Images at the Musée de l’Élysée (Lausanne, CH) in June 2013.
His passion for the constant changes that characterize the city of New York feeds the photographer’s desire to pursue this work in the forthcoming years, and to be a witness of the metropolis’s current and future architectural evolutions.