Through this series of portraits, Rip Hopkins reveals how the inhabitants of Maisons-Laffitte, a French city historically linked to horses, perceive and take on the imagery of the horse in their fantasy.
At the North West of Paris, close to the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, stands a city that has been haunted by the presence of horse since the end of the 18th century. Its racetrack has the longest straight line of Europe. Men and horses live together. Tracks are available to ride around. The mounted horse always has the priority. An anachronistic castle reminds us of the times before industrialization, when horse was the closest ally of man. Its legendary monumental stables have now disappeared. Hence the castle of Maisons gives each year an assignment to a photographer to represent the horse within its walls.
A paper presence to replace the living, in a way.
Within all the fields of contemporary creation, the theme of horse seems to have been deserted when it used to be a mythic character and source of fabulous stories. Its symbolic power is strong.
This year 2012, Rip Hopkins has chosen not to photograph horses, but to reveal the symbolic power of horse on today’s men and women.
Book published by Filigranes, text by Pauline de La Boulaye