Parkour and the architecture of human flight
In Bulgaria, Fabien Scotti’s camera combines flying bodies and Soviet brutalism
You can explore typical Soviet architectural brutalism through an urban sports art, the art of parkour. Fabien Scotti shows us how, creating through his own lens an interaction between the Bulgarian metropolitan landscape and the floating bodies of young human birds.
The dialogue between aerial evolutions, concrete, and gravity reaches a new dimension both in this visual reportage and in the words of Kristiyan Valev, a local athlete who recounts his own point of view regarding the connection between popular projects, abandoned buildings and the imagery of any parkour artist.
“I was into PC gaming and anime from a young age and when I discovered Parkour, it felt the same way, but in real life. When I’m practicing outside of the gym, the main thing I’m looking for is unique urban places. I like architecture a lot, so if I find a place interesting, I will always try to do something with my movement there. I like being creative, whether that’s visual art, music production, or parkour, I feel like the mindset is the same. You have a blank canvas and some paint, so you just need to try painting something. It’s very interesting with architecture because parkour gives you a unique view where you’re constantly looking for spots and notice a lot more details around the structure of a building. For me, this sparked an interest in architecture that went beyond Parkour. I think the surrounding architecture plays a big part in forming the style of movement for any Parkour athlete. Growing up in a small town, there weren’t really any obvious Parkour spots, so I was able to focus more on creativity and flow. We had a lot of abandoned communist-era buildings in the industrial part of the city and I often went exploring them with my friends. I remember it feeling like a post-apocalyptic movie and I believe that influenced my vision for Parkour a lot”
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