It sounds like a bad dream, but in fact it's real life nightmare.
The sea has disappeared.
However, it isn't the dramatic ecological shift, nor the sociological change for local inhabitants that photographer Grégoire Eloy captured and brought back from his four journeys there between 2008 and 2013.
"I was seized by the poetry of the places and the strange feeling of the vanishing of the sea. It's something your spirit cannot accept," he tells us at his home in the Marais.
Everything in his images recalls the sea, from the dunes, to the ice in the winter, the wind, the corals, the remnants of the fisherman's way of life.
"You can see nice successive sea front houses, as if the sea could be at lower tide level. But it won't come back this time," he explains.
The situation isn't the same all around the sea. In the south in Uzbekistan, the sea is still dying, without any river feeding it. 200 km now separates previous fishing villages from the water. But the North Kazakhstan part has been protected by the construction of a dam, and still welcomes a river.
Greg Eloy expresses this esthetic beauty and the feeling of vanishing and impermanence with special artisanal treatments of the prints of this series. Some images are cropped, some figures are emerging from the white or burned by the light that he played with during the photo development.
He is very mindful about the quality and the authenticity of his prints. He showed us the test prints he did in the dark room, either by himself or with the help of Picto for the color prints. Collectors will have the pleasure of buying unique prints, made by hand. Prints are edited in 7 numbers, usually in one format only.