The Order of Things presents about a hundred analog photographs of landscaped gardens around houses and estates in the Swiss Canton of Valais and in Romandy, the western, French-speaking part of Switzerland.
Nicolas Faure (b. Geneva, 1949) explores the 'order of things' in his shots of lush ornamental plants and hedges as well as boundary walls and fences that bespeak a desire for privacy within the confines of a verdant semi-secluded idyll. You can often spot them from afar: these ornamental plants, slightly concealed, usually behind delicate latticework and fences, and every now and then striving to break away from the changes in the built environment, reaching out over and around the fences, sometimes almost menacingly, sometimes holding out a silent promise that behind all that back-to-back terraced housing might still lie some unspoiled wilderness, maybe even the great wide world. Then again, maybe not: maybe there’s nothing behind it but more Swiss suburbia. Faure renders this 'order of things' in painstakingly composed visual hierarchies reflecting the homeowners’ will to assert their proprietary power, to shape their grounds, their personal turf, as they see fit. Everything has its place. These precisely placed plants, scrupulously 'trained' to grow just the right way and smoothly woven into the suburban fabric, epitomise the Swiss mentality, as well as the technological and cultural changes which, since the late 1950s, have transformed Switzerland into a vast suburban patchwork.