Photographic geode of the Kerguelen Islands 1979-2019,
photosensitive emulsion, concrete, plaster, wire, polystyrene, 2019.
“This photographic geode seems to belong to the same block of concrete, broken in two. The interior of the „stone“ reveals an image, like a mineral locked in a rock. If each image should be the mirror of the other, we notice that their shape, their color, their outlines no longer correspond. Both are aerial views of the same archipelago, but forty years apart: the first in 1979 and the second in 2019.
The Kerguelen Islands, in the Antarctic Ocean, are the biggest archipelago of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF), listed as a Unesco heritage, whose biodiversity is immensely rich. While the island is supposed to be covered in snow all year long, snow is almost absent from the view of 2019. It remains only on the eastern end of the archipelago, which is also doomed to melt within a few years. This photographic geode is therefore made up of two pieces that can never be reunited again, separated by a chronological gap marking one of the direct consequences of our Anthropocene era.
The „Photographic Fossils“, by Sibylle Duboc, divert the informative function of Google Maps and propose to use the satellite to capture a full view of the ecumene, made up of areas exploited by humans, isolated from the world and often prohibited access.
The choice of an anthropogenic landscape subject, but also the use of the photographic medium or the representation of aerial views as maps in volume, allow a reflection on the relationship that man has with his environment. The anthropogenic nature of the place and the use of the map account for the disproportionate transformations of these landscapes. Moreover, the analogy that the viewer can make between the artwork and a real rock is confusing and the distinction between the fossil and the photograph becomes more complex.