Charbon blanc


Maurienne’s mountains are marked with ambiguities, contradictions, oppositions. Nicknamed “the aluminum valley”, space is mastered and exploited there. From the numerous factories that were once scattered along the Arc river, only one is remaining, bordered by a highway – one of the only in the Alps – and soon by a high speed train line that however has risen up opposition among the inhabitants, mainly after suspicions of corruption and pollution. Even if a few ski resorts dot the summits, the main part of the space in Maurienne stands in the uninhabitable, thus matching the romantic image of a pure and sublime nature. At first, I’ve felt the need of a physical experience of the landscape. Be in the mountain, walk, breath. It became like roaming this uninhabitable, what can be felt only by foot, at the closest to the topography, immersed in the landscape. Those two layers add and mix, like a recognition walk through the territory, to try and know every corner


Echoing the construction of the Lyon-Turin railway tunnel where uranium was found along the route as well as the discovery of radioactivity by Louis Becquerel using light sensitive paper, I’ve buried photographic films in various locations in the Maurienne valley. Those films stayed underground for different amounts of time varying between a few weeks to up to two years. In that process, the earth itself lays its mark, altering the sensible surface by temperature and humidity changes inherent to this environment. Uncanny forms and textures reveal themselves, signs from below-ground in humid and ochre shades. Through this performative action, the goal is not to record the traces of a potential radioactivity but to refer to it by giving a voice to the environment itself while evoking the history of science and the use of territory that stems from it.

NB : this corpus of images is to be considered within the whole project. All the images will be presented together in a dummy book.