• Christoph-sillem-2

    Chrstoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

Photography

How bizarre! Christoph Sillem's intriguing shots of a cartoon-like town

Posted by Catherine Gaffney,

Have a wander through these strange, hyper-real images from German photographer Christoph Sillem. Are you in a video-game? Or a cartoon? Not quite…

Once upon a time, not so long ago, Sillem noticed a giant circle 30km east of Paris – and on closer inspection realised that it was the ring road that surrounds Disneyland Paris. He then wondered what kind of influence Disneyland had beyond its perimeter, and went on a quest to see for himself.

Christoph found himself in the community of Val d’Europe, which, in the photographer’s words, is “a Truman Show like über-replica of a French village from the last century, which seems to have sprung up overnight.” The town is, in fact, mostly owned by The Walt Disney Company and was built in conjunction with Disneyland Paris to provide accommodation for its employees. It was recently designed by New York-based architecture firm, Cooper, Robertson & Partners, according to the style of Baron Haussman – a civic planner responsible for much of the architectural redevelopment of Paris in the 1860s.

Jean Baudrillard, in his 1981 text, Simulacra and Simulation states that “Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real”… but if that is the case, then what on earth do we see here? It’s an environment that, sure enough, extends the architectural fiction of Disneyland into the real world – and these photographs, compellingly composed of beautiful skies and set-like, unpeopled structures, are all the more intriguing for the truth that, at first glance, they appear to mask. C’est bizarre.

  • Christoph-sillem-3

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-18

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-5

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-14

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-9

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-12

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-16

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-4

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-17

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

  • Christoph-sillem-19

    Christoph Sillem: A World Around Disney

Portrait13

Posted by Catherine Gaffney

Catherine joined us as an editorial intern after studying at Trinity College Dublin and Central Saint Martins. She wrote for the site between June and August 2012.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Main

    Where do dreams come true? “Disneyland!” squeal the indoctrinated masses. Sadly, the dream’s over for the exhibits of Yesterland, which is a photo archive of rides, restaurants and rodeos which are no more. Or, as Yesterland likes to style itself, “a theme park on the web.”

  2. Kk7list

    There’s something wonderfully honest about Kieran Kesner’s portraits of Ukraine. His camera acknowledges there’s a civil war tearing the country apart – there are protests and soldiers and guns and casualties – but this isn’t the sum total of what is happening there. There are still priests saying prayers and farmers plucking potatoes from the fields and cyclists on their bikes; what we see on the news is only part of the story Kieran suggests.

  3. List

    South African photographer Dillon Marsh has long been drawn to themes that touch on environmentalism and our relationship with the world around us, and in recent years these interests have become more pronounced.

  4. Main

    Let’s get this straight, Anna Victoria Best’s work is maybe some of the most exciting photography I’ve ever seen. That may sound like a total exaggeration but it’s true – it is not often that someone’s work is so consistently brilliant throughout an entire portfolio, or that a few simple portraits can hold such a huge amount of power. If I wasn’t taken with the photos of Ashley Williams (which I was, a lot) then the fashion editorial shoot for Varon was like the photographic equivalent of pudding. You can almost hear those shoes squeaking on the lino as they do the Twist.

  5. List

    Love it or loathe it, mobile phone photography is entrenched in our modern media culture. But it’s facile to lump this ever-growing phenomenon under a single umbrella, encompassing as it does everything from hipsters’ obsession with Instagramming their burgers to the vital role of smartphone-wielding citizen journalists in conflicts around the world. In recognition of the increasing importance of mobile phone photography and the numerous narratives intertwined with it, the British Journal of Photography has launched fltr, which bills itself as “the only magazine dedicated to mobile photographers.”

  6. List

    In the last couple of weeks the professional football season has returned in all its overhyped glory, but for thousands of amateurs around the UK it’s the start of the Sunday League season that really matters.

  7. List

    Photographer Viviane Sassen has crafted an aesthetic which operates way beyond the traditional confines of her medium. She’s previously made work which would be considered fashion photography, for example, but in which the clothes featured never seem to be the driving force behind the image. Similarly, her latest series Axiom toys with notions of light, colour and illusion in a way which seems to lean towards graphic art, but each image meshes the three elements together so effortlessly that you scarcely have time to ponder the idea behind it.

  8. Main9

    In an untidy apartment in Milan, a lion roars. Nearby, an armadillo sniffs a pile of papers. An ibex is fed up; he can’t see very well for all the bubble wrap around his head. But these aren’t escapees from the zoo; they’re a failed diorama.

  9. Main

    Hey there’s a big floppy pepperoni on that Palomino! Most days I’d find the idea of wasted pizza an atrocity not worthy of further promotion, but I guess this photo series is kind of different. In a somewhat strange diversion from his otherwise rather professional work, this photographer has chosen to take countless pizzas into the great outdoors and capture them against the backdrop of the natural world. Jonpaul Douglass, whose name is a little like someone drunkenly writing John Paul Douglas, has snapped the humble pizza on sun loungers, in bushes, draped over basketball hoops, and even clinging for dear life over the barrel of a military tank. Why is this good? It just is; the quality of the photos is terrific, and ten extra points to Jonpaul who braved looking mega-weird in public to get these shots.

  10. Main3

    Canadian-born photographer Stephanie Noritz lives and works in New York where she freelances for the likes of Monocle, Bloomberg Businessweek, Dazed and Confused and New York Magazine amongst others. Her imagery is defined by sharp lighting, relaxed atmosphere and – most importantly – a youthful subject matter – whether that’s kids skating vert ramps or fast-paced little league games.

  11. Main6

    “AMERICA: Who Stole The Dream?” reads a poster in the newsroom of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Amid towering piles of papers and notepads, styrofoam coffee cups and creaking, half-broken office chairs, this is the question asked by photographer and writer Will Steacy.

  12. Image-11

    Here at It’s Nice That we spend an awful lot of time talking about, thinking about and writing about creatives but ultimately we don’t get too many chances to really see what goes on in their day-to-day working lives…until now. Our new collaboration with super-cool eyewear brand Ace & Tate – who believe in great design and ultimate customer choice – is taking us inside the studios, and inside the minds, of a host of some of our favourite creatives.

  13. Kok-list

    Palm Springs-based photographer Brian Pescador is leading a double life. By day he makes his living chopping locks and trimming beards as a travelling barber, and by night (also quite often during the day, but presumably when he’s not cutting hair) he’s an incredibly talented photographer. Naturally as a resident of the Coachella Valley, he’s got a wealth of stunning scenery to go out and shoot whenever he sees fit, but the best of his photography marries the people and places of his homeland into an idyllic portrait of youthful hedonism.