Published by Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 2009
Text by Doreen Schmid and Gilles Boussard
Hardcover with dust jacket
10" x 10"
96 pages
61 duotone illustrations
English / French
ISBN 978-3-86828-077-7
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For centuries, raising pigeons was a symbol of status and privilege granted to the aristocracy. Before the French Revolution there were over 40,000 dovecotes in France—large, freestanding buildings, which Vicki Topaz depicts in her enigmatic black and white photographs.

Today fewer than 1,000 of these colombiers remain, and their numbers dwindle further every year. Fascinated by the melancholy nature of these once prestigious pigeonries, this American photographer traced their slow decay in Normandy and Brittany over the course of several years. Beyond their documentary character, Topaz’s photographs summon associations with lost worlds, transience and death. And yet some of these seemingly desolate structures still harbor life, with a few pigeons nested unattended and undisturbed in the homes built just for them so many centuries ago.

With its careful framing of telling details and the subtle play of light captured by the camera, Silent Nests represents a unique aesthetic experience. This book is the first photographic investigation into this archival niche of France’s rich cultural legacy.