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Unnecessary, free, great, generous. These are the traits of the ailanthus (Ailanthus altissima) that Zhuangzi evoked to illustrate his philosophy of the Tao. Today, these same characteristics are reproached to the specimens of this species that evolves in temperate regions of all continents. Simon Boudvin followed the development of ailanthus populations for ten years in an area of eastern Paris, between the communes of Bagnolet and Montreuil. He shares here an excerpt of his photographic survey, supplemented by an account of the history, travels, integration and rejection of the ailant in our sciences and cultures. This situated monograph questions our ability to welcome the appearance of a spontaneous life form and to release our exclusive control over the space of our cities.
Simon Boudvin, Ailanthus altissima – Une monographie située de l’ailante
Éditions B42, 2021
16 x 24 cm