The series “Mass Culture” was shot in several Asian megacities. It questions the model of mass culture and its effect on the individuality of each of us. The series questions what life form emerges from these cities designed to facilitate the flows at a mega-scale that does not really take into consideration the human scale.
“Mass Culture” also asks what flows and what movements emerge of a lifestyle that tends to promote greater standardization and globalization. Laurent Baillet’s approach reminds us of what pop culture portrayed in the decades from 1950 to 1980, but transposed into the current globalized, more technological, and flashier age. Where Coca Cola and Hollywood share the stage with Apple and LVMH…
His photographs reflect the urban and commercial architecture that is built around us; arrogant landscape that considers itself the heart of the city and pretends to replace all our desires. Laurent Baillet does not interpret this evolution; he experiences it with fascination, but not without ambivalence. His depictions question the real value of this age of mass culture and its effects on us, the consumers. By catching these streets, their symbols frozen in a temporal instant, the young photographer is taking the measure of the place left to the individual by the system, which, in its excessive standardization, controls not only people’s outer space but also their intimate realm of imagination and fantasy. The individual appears to be erased, fleeting, already devoid of substance, quickly disappearing. But Laurent Baillet has traveled and lived on almost every continent and this finding is not necessarily given as an end, but rather as a step. A society that has not yet «digested» consumerism cannot yet be freed from mass culture. This «ideal» portrayed here on the billboards and advertisements covering building facades leaves one question unanswered: is it the luxury industry or the individual that is anachronistic? Which presence here is truly legitimate? Human society, flowing despite any one person controlling its direction, is it random movement or does it embody the irresistible swarm of our collective conscience?