Climate change in the last twenty years has continuously imposed itself into our lives as a "guest of stone.” While climate skeptics continue to deny this reality, and those who think that man is in good part responsible by his actions, the real data and climate events continue to tell us through ever worsening droughts, hurricanes of greater intensity, strange weather patterns and the new phenomena of polar ice that is melt at a speed never seen before, raising sea levels at an alarming rate.
The planet Earth is our common home and has also been the subject, along with its human inhabitants, that members of the VII Photo agency have been reporting on for decades.
On the eve of the international conference on climate change, COP 21, to be held in Paris, France from November 30 to December 11, VII Photo will post a photo a day extracted from reportages that narrate events related to climate change or human action which both directly and indirectly have had a decisive influence on the environment.
Captions in order of appearance in the slider:
Glaciers seen in Patagonia, Argentina on May 7, 2007. The Patagonia area of Chile and Argentina have the largest ice masses, excluding Antarctica, in the Southern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, this beautiful setting is slowly disappearing, as the pace of ice thinning accelerates at a rapidly speed. According to a new study by NASA and Chile's Centro de Estudios Cientificos, these glaciers now account for nearly ten percent of the global sea-level change from mountain glaciers. © Antonin Kratochvil/VII
Cattle in a drought stricken paddock in Clayton, New Mexico, on July 29, 2013. Oklahoma, along with states throughout the central United States, are experiencing a more sever drought than the dust bowl of the 1930s. Due to new irrigation practices, which involves tapping water from the aquifer, there is less dust, but the aquifers levels have hit record lows. © Ashley Gilbertson/VII
A boy plays with mud in front of ruins in a flood damaged neighborhood of Mingora, Swat Valley, Pakistan, on Aug. 26, 2010. © Tomas van Houtryve/VII
Slidell, Louisiana. Damage Caused by Hurricane Katrina. September 16, 2005. © Christopher Morris/VII
“The relationship between man and river is intimate and it is ruthless. For generations people live by it. We find dependency and destruction at the same time. It is a contradictory affair. The river gives so much to its people and at times it takes away everything. In the winter of 2011, I travelled to the villages near Ishurdi district. Padma, the largest waterway of Bangladesh flows right beside. At first the place seems abandoned. Drowned and broken houses, floating trees are all that remains. These are traces of life that was once here. Slowly I discover life in the villages. People who are still living here, many as refugees in other lands. They have lost their house, farmlands, almost everything. Some has left the places as they ran out of all the options. Over the years the river changed its course. While doing it, it has taken so many people. When the monsoon arrives and the river runs fast, lands get washed away and disappear. Riverbank erosion generally creates much more suffering than other natural hazards like flooding; as while flooding routinely destroys crops and damages property, erosion results in loss of farm and homestead land. Places I have photographed do not exist anymore. But these people are still living around the river. Often they go out and stand by the river and take some rest by the riverbank. They look far away. It is not clear what do they look at. River erosion still continues with dire consequences for this land and community.” © Sarker Protick/VII
A vessel cuts through the ice near the ice-class bulk carrier Nordic Odyssey at 70°09'N 173°40'E on the Northern Sea Route on July 20, 2012. The Nordic Odyssey is en route from Murmansk, Russia to Huanghua, China. © Davide Monteleone/VII
People cross a temporary makeshift bridge in Madyan, in the Swat Valley, Pakistan, on Aug. 22, 2010. Heavy floods destroyed the main bridge and much of the town. © Tomas van Houtryve/VII
Workers for Rocky Mountain Casing Crews in Williston, North Dakota. More than a million barrels are produced a day in the Bakken Shale Formation making North Dakota the second largest producer of oil in America, only behind Texas. North Dakota also has the lowest unemployment rate in the country thanks to the oil boom that has overtaken the Northwest corner of the state. (2013) © Danny Wilcox Frazier/VII
In the Arctic language, there is a word, quniqjuk, which means the indistinct horizon of the unknown future. Standing in the snow, amidst this indistinct horizon, renowned Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, in his soft spoken, yet very blunt way, offered this: “The Inuit are the only people to go from the Stone Age to the Digital Age in one generation.” What happens in one generation, what happens when “The System” (as Zach called it) makes its appearance at the proverbial ice edge? A once semi-nomadic tribe, subsumed by the light of the global future – iPad’s, mobile phones, televisions – this new light, not the light of the seal oil lamps so favored by Robert Flaherty in the 1920s, has come. What is the new Inuit reality? Qunbuq is the Inuit reality. It means “the brightness on the horizon that indicates the presence of ice on an ocean.” The presence of ice means the presence of life, the existence of life that exists between the frozen land and the open, dangerous sea.
No one knows how many words they have for snow, one answer is over three hundred, but these mobile, affable and once nomadic people have 25 words for travel, including travel where you have no real goal in mind, where one seeks to “split things that are frozen together,” or quabaa. © Donald Weber/VII
Automobiles are partially submerged in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Sandy at a dealership in Point Pleasant, N.J., Oct. 30, 2012. The super storm ravaged the East Coast, leaving many dead and billions of dollars in damage. Climate change has been linked to an increase in severity and frequency of weather events like hurricanes. © Ed Kashi/VII
May 2008, Myanmar. In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis which hit Burma's Irrawaddy Delta at the start of May 2008, killing more than 130,000 and affecting 2.4 million. Madam Aye Lwin has hardly anything left from her home. Her husband died in the cyclone and her 17-year-old son, who was missing for two days after being swept away, is asid to have since lost his mind and left home. Madam Aye Lwin, 40, who discovered the deformed, underwear-clad body of her husband 18 days after the cyclone, said: "When the next storm comes in five days, I have to run away quickly." Pyapon, Irrawaddy Delta. © Sim Chi Yin/VII
Turkana women retrieve water for people and cattle from a twenty-meter deep, homemade borehole, in Kaitede, Rift Valley province, Kenya on Oct. 3 2009. Kenya hasn’t seen a drop of rain for several years and is now facing a devastating drought. Livestock and crops are dying and people are getting weaker every day. The lack of resources in Kenya and in neighboring countries is sparking intertribal conflicts as communities fight for limited grazing land and water. The spread of weapons are turning those conflicts bloody. © Stefano De Luigi/VII
Refugees from Hurricane Katrina, in the Houston Astrodome. Houston, Texas. September 4, 2005. © Christopher Morris/VII
Sugarcane fields near Melmoth in South Africa are cut down and burned off after the harvest in 1998. “South Africa is a major emitter of greenhouse gases… The emission rate is at almost ten tons of CO2 per person per year – 43% more than the global average. As a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, South Africa has made a voluntary commitment to combat climate change. It aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025.” The Climate Change Response Strategy and the 2010 Green Paper identify sugarcane burning as one of the areas where South Africa can reduce GHG to meet its obligation to UNFCCC.
Fires in Mato Grosso state of the Amazon in Brazil where farmers are burning ancient rainforests to make way for more farmland to raise cattle and soybeans. © John Stanmeyer/VII
Abu Ibrahim, 50, his wife Um Ibrahim (blue/green dress, black veil) and their children Khalid Masaeed (black shirt and kafayiah), 16, Abdul Rahman Masaeed (green t-shirt), 14, Rani Masaeed (pink t-shirt), 12, and Ali Masaeed (blue t-shirt), 10, pose for a photograph with their daily water consumption of 200 liters for their family and 7800 liters for their herd in the desert near Um Al-Lulu, in the Northern District, Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, on August 1, 2015. The Masaeed family are Bedouins, and move from place to place in the desert, following access to water and food for their herd of 700 sheep. The family usually draws 8 cubic meters of water, or 8000 litres, per day from a water salesman in a nearby town and transport it to their camp with their 1969 Mercedes truck. The family use 200 liters of water per day for cooking, drinking, and the washing of clothes and dishes. Their sheep drink the remaining 7800 litres of water. “Bedouins value water more than city people,” said Abu Ibrahim, “Water is close to them, available to them. But it is not available to us – we have to go to a lot of trouble and effort and travel a long way to bring water. That is why we value water more than city people.” “Water is the most important thing to us as Bedouins. If we didn’t have it, we couldn’t survive, and our cattle couldn’t survive. We feel the value of it, because it is so hard to get.” Said Abu Ibrahim, who as a boy living with his family in the desert, relied on rain water and extensive travel to find water. Since the 1980s, Abu Ibrahim says that the rains have largely stopped, making the families access to water more difficult. “Water is cheap when it’s available,” said his wife, Um Ibrahim, “but when it’s missed, it’s the most valuable thing.” © Ashley Gilbertson/VII
A giraffe lies dead, killed by drought in Wajr, North Eastern province, Kenya on Oct. 9, 2009. Kenya hasn’t seen a drop of rain for several years and is now facing a devastating drought. Livestock and crops are dying and people are getting weaker every day. The lack of resources in Kenya and in neighboring countries is sparking intertribal conflicts as communities fight for limited grazing land and water. The spread of weapons are turning those conflicts bloody. © Stefano De Luigi/VII
Peruvians ride a motorbike across land effected by extensive gold mining and deforestation, in Huaypetue, Manu province, Madre de Dios region, Peru. ©Ron Haviv/VII
The Chernobyl power plant and the reflection of reactor No. 4. The explosion of Chernobyl's No. 4 nuclear reactor in the Ukraine on April 26, 1986 sent a huge cloud of radioactive dust over much of Europe. © Maciek Nabrdalik/VII
The relationship between man and river; It’s intimate and it’s ruthless. For generations people live by it. We find dependency and destruction at the same time. It’s a contradictory affair. The river gives so much to its people and at times it takes away everything. In the winter of 2011, I travelled to the villages near Ishurdi district. Padma, the largest waterway of Bangladesh flows right beside. At first the place seems abandoned. Drowned and broken houses, floating trees are all that remains. These are traces of life that was once here. Slowly I discover life in the villages. People who are still living here, many as refugee in others land. They have lost their house, farmlands almost everything. Some has left the places as they ran out of all the options. Over the years the river changed it’s course. While doing it, it has taken so many. When the monsoon arrives and the river runs fast. The lands get washed away and disappear. Riverbank erosion generally creates much more suffering than other natural hazards like flooding; as while flooding routinely destroys crops and damages property, erosion results in loss of farm and homestead land. Places I have photographed do not exist any more. But these people are sill living around the river. Often they go out and stand by the river and some rest by the riverbank. They look far away. It is not clear what do they look at. River erosion still continues with dire consequences for this land and community. © Sarker Protick/VII
Dead elephant near Shumba in Hwange national park, Zimbabwe, Nov. 22, 2005. © Gary Knight/VII
In an Ogoniland village in the Niger Delta, an unattended oil wellhead that had been leaking for weeks has turned into a raging inferno on July 24, 2004. This environmental disaster effects the crops, water, and air for locals forcing farmers and fishermen out of work, amplifying tensions between locals and the oil companies. Oil fires like this one emit large amounts of carbons into the atmosphere, degrading air quality and contributing to global warming. This is one example of the adverse impacts of resource extraction on our climate. ©Ed Kashi/VII
“Aufmachen, Aufmachen!’ ('Open up, open up').
With these two words, I banged on each imaginary door every time I entered a bunker.
A sarcastic joke that I have maintained right along the 5283 kilometres of bunker-strewn Atlantic coastline (the Atlantic Wall, eds), kidding myself that it might draw a smile from this imaginary German soldier.
The humour of a photographer who has walked the coasts for too long and too alone... Although, I resist knocking on every door of the more than fifteen-thousand still-standing bunkers. In that case I would still be nursing my wounded knuckles somewhere along a Norwegian fjord. The Atlantic Wall is not simply a garden wall built on a Sunday afternoon.
A horizon. Many times it was no more than that. So it would have been for the German soldier on guard. Looking out from a concrete slit, I see the same scene that a young soldier then would have seen: a line in the distance above a moving body of water. The man on watch there would not have been unhappy to be there – better a peaceful Atlantic sea view than a war scene on a cold tundra on the Eastern Front.
Most of these young men probably just wanted to return to their Heimat. Homesickness in the shadow of reinforced concrete. After yet another bunker on a rock or a dune, it got it to me: standing on a beach, in a dune or on a cliff, with no other view than the umpteenth Scheiss-bunker. Lost. Forgotten by man, embraced by nature.
"Nature doesn’t care for history" came into my mind at the top of Cap Blanc Nez, seeing the sun gleaming on the surprisingly close white cliffs of England on the horizon. As nature gnaws at the coastline, so bunkers gradually end up on beaches and sometimes drowning in the sea. Or they become surrounded by moss, brambles, bushes or a real forest. Now I know to how high a sixty-five year old tree can grow. Nature smothers, engulfs and slowly cracks the concrete enemy. Tide after tide, storm after storm.
The Atlantic Wall’s fight today is no longer against the Allies, but against nature. From World War to Cold War to global warming. Bunkers have had a lot to endure in recent years. Dunes disappear under them, at times reducing them to breakwaters. Some serve as a garage, cottage, cow-barn, bat sanctuary, campsite reception office, graffiti site, storage or as a love nest for a quickie in the sea air. But most simply serve no purpose. They stand there, seemingly useless. Bunkers as the pebblestones of history.
And yet some are gems, reminding me from time to time of Malian mosques, giant tortoises, space ships, mega dice, submarines or UFO platforms. The locations are stunning: on deserted beaches, cliffs, estuaries, isthmuses, peninsulas. It’s amazing how strategy and aesthetics meet. On the Channel Islands, the German architects gave free rein to their creativity.
Their observation towers on spectacular cliffs are true architectural masterpieces, as if Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier had sat at the drawing board. The bunkers in the Channel Islands can stand alongside the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Falling Water House in Pennsylvania or the Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamps. Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney host unique structures, in contrast to the often repetitive classic models along the rest of the Atlantic coast. On the island where the last Neanderthals of north-west Europe walked are some of the beautiful buildings of the race that believed in the Übermensch. Would this irony have been lost on the Nazis?
The trip was confusing.
A mixture of abhorrence and admiration.
Admiration for the craftsmanship, the magnificence and beauty of the architecture of their defensive wall.
But disgust at their ideas, their actions, the horror, der grosse Plan. Der Deutsche ('the German') got it wrong, badly wrong. But there’s no denying it: a German can build. Not just an autobahn, a car, a national football team but also a concrete Stützpunkt. Or let’s rather say have someone else build. Because oftentimes it was not the occupier with his clean uniform who humped cement bags on his back.
Like all great building works in world history, this one too involved slave labour. Jews, communists, gypsies, resistance fighters or prisoners of war were among those who built the defensive line. Each gigantic edifice has blood on his walls – and in the case of the Atlantic Wall, literally so. Stories of workers dying from exhaustion being dumped into the concrete were no rarity.
The Atlantic Wall is one of the few remaining relics of their leader’s megalomania. A defence line with coastal batteries, barricades and bunkers from the northern tip of Norway to the southernmost point in France. Gründlichleit ('thoroughness'), the German word was invented for that sort of thing. The Germans built over fifteen thousand bunkers along the coast in less than four years. This monument belongs in the list alongside Hadrian’s Wall, the Great Wall, the Great Pyramid of Giza, Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, the Channel Tunnel and Burj Khalifa.
But in the course of one long day, on four beaches and with fifteen thousand casualties, it was breached. D-Day in Normandy rendered the Atlantic Wall useless. A wall where the wind was all that moved down the barrels of the guns facing out to sea. General George S. Patton said it already back then: "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of men."
In Germany I found no bunkers along the coast. The only bunkers that I encountered were air raid shelters for the populations of Bremen, Wilhelmshaven and Hamburg. I find that
strange. The Germans have swept clear their own shores, while those of the then occupied territories are untouched. Grim Gründlichkeit ('thoroughness') or a deep sense of shame? Although, here too, things are gradually changing.
In Norway, the military use the bunkers to test explosives; on French beaches, coastal batteries are bulldozed to make way for beach tourism. The most attractive coastal battery of the entire Atlantic Wall disappeared in spring 2013. A man was killed on one of the bunkers on the beach of Wissant. The huge damages claimed by the family survivors led the mayor to remove everything. The bulldozers took three months to return the beach to its virgin condition.
A lieu de mémoire swept away by a grieving family.
When does something become history? The Trojan War, the Second Punic War, the Battle of Trafalgar, the Battle of Waterloo, are all history, World War I too has become history. World War
II – not yet. It is still being retold, still present in the minds of those who experienced it. And even if the last witnesses are steadily passing away and disappearing under the earth, the bunkers are still there. Concrete dies more slowly than human flesh.
Some bunkers still seem as intact, as if they had just been delivered by an architect –others have turned into a pile of stones. The Atlantic Wall is contemporary archaeology.
The temptation to wade into the Atlantic was frequently strong. Against the waves of salt water and against the flow of the Allies, the wall was often directly on the border between land and sea – tideline as frontline.
My ‘counterattack’ went wrong one time. On a rock on the Channel Island of Alderney a tiny bunker with a collapsed roof ogled me on. For half an hour I stood photographing the crashing waves and changing light. Safe and dry, I thought. Until my left eye espied an unexpectedly large wave coming. There was just enough time to clamber up the necessary several metres to the top.
The ensuing tale is quickly told: clinging to the rocks, a thud, a waterfall down on my back and an ebbing swimming pool in my face. Safe at the top of the rock I surveyed the damage: clothes soaking wet, battered knee, torn nail, flooded camera and a lost camera bag, sinking slowly like a torpedoed ship. My four lenses now lie at rest on the bottom of the Longis Bay. But euphoria had the upper hand. I survived. Almost seventy years after the German surrender, I could have been the final victim of World War II. In contrast to the thousands of dead on the Normandy beaches, the Atlantic Wall is not my tombstone.
Till then I have more doors to knock on.
Text by Stephan Vanfleteren
See also the book Atlantic Wall by Stephan Vanfleteren, published by Hannibal Publishing.
Photos in order of appearance: 1. Belgium, Oostuinkerke; 2. Denmark, Hanstholm; 3. Denmark, Lokken; 4. Denmark, Vigo; 5. France, Berck; 6. France, Guersney; 7. Fance, Herqueville; 8. France, Le Hourdel; 9. France, Quiberville; 10. France, Zuydcoote; 11. Norway, Kirkenes; 12. Norway, Ogna; 13. Norway, Skallev.
Origin and exile, or Mount Ararat and the island of San Lazzaro in the Venice Biennale: it is not possible to think of 2015 without considering 1915, like it is not possible to think of the Armenian Diaspora without considering the area from which it emanated. The Armenity asserts itself on the periphery of Europe, at the Venice Biennale it steps into the center. Origin and exile recur as text and as a comment. Silvina Der Meguerditchian gives this dichotomy that characterises the European tradition, the form of her own treasures.
Much of Silvina Der Meguerditchian's work as an artist has focused on concepts of the collective identity and cultural heritage of the Armenian people. Her installation Treasures continues her ongoing exploration of these themes and at the same time challenges any attempt to approach it in purely historical terms.
Treasures is based on a manuscript written in Turkish using the Armenian alphabet, a compilation of folk remedies the artist's great grandmother put down on paper in Buenos Aires more than seventy years ago. Drawing on additional texts, collages and objects to supplement and comment on this historical source, Der Meguerditchian takes it as a point of departure from which to explore the relationship between text and commentary in her artist's book and installation.
The artist's decision to incorporate the extant display cases and create a site-specific installation attests to the special significance the location holds for her. For Der Meguerditchian and the others at the school she attended as a girl, the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni was what Mount Ararat was for most other children in the Armenian community in Argentina: an almost mythical place of longing, particularly close to the heart and yet impossibly faraway. The title Der Meguerditchian has chosen for her installation points to the fact that the manuscript it is based on is much more than a document solely of interest to historians and possibly antique book dealers. Much like the fragment of a marble statue from Classical Antiquity, it is a treasure that stands – pars pro toto – for the collective identity of a people, a priceless artifact evoking an entire bygone era.
Of course, old books are bound to elicit associations of transience and impermanence. However, by overlaying, digitally processing and framing her historical sources and thus entering into a dialogue with them, Der Meguerditchian manages to transcend these associations and build a bridge between past and present. Suggestive of the delight children take in drawing and scribbling in books, the techniques she uses translate commentary into visual form. Since commentary is generally concerned with examining the authenticity of texts and placing them into a wider context, it often serves to detach us from the text itself.
Der Meguerditchian gives this familiar practice a surprising twist by harnessing it to the opposite effect: In using it to amplify their "whisper," she allows her sources to speak to us today and turns them into "treasures" whose significance goes beyond the purely historical.
This text appeared in the catalogue of "Armenity", the Armenian Pavilion in the 56th Biennale Di Venezia, 2015
Photos in order of appearance: 1. Verstrickungen (Detail) Digitale Bilder, Fotographie und Wolle, Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin, 2014. Photographs by Silvina Der-Meguerditchian; 2. Untitled, Installation Wolle und Stein Surp Giragos Kirche – Ausstellung „Erinnerung ohne Ort“, Diyarbekir, June 2014; 3. Little Gestures of Cooperation. Kastanienallee 1991. Holzobjekt, Fotographie, Handschrift auf Glas, 2009; 4. Kharpert/Architektur, Digitale Bilder, Wolle Surp Giragos Kirche – Ausstellung „Erinnerung ohne Ort“, Diyarbekir, June 2014; 5. Performance Verstrickungen (Detail), Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin, 2014; 6. Families II, Berlin Photography and wool, 220 x 120 cm. Installation at the Ballhausnaunynstrasse, 2013; 7. Ohne Titel, Installation Wolle und Stein, Surp Giragos Kirche – Ausstellung „Erinnerung ohne Ort“, Diyarbekir, Juni 2014; 8. Performance „Zusammen“, Teil der Produktion „Mjasin – Verflechtungen“, Ballhaus Naunynstraße, Berlin, 2013; 9. Red threads, Installation in the Surp Giragos church- Diyarbakir, Turkey, 2014.
* Berhold Reiss is an artist born 1962 in Salzburg. He lives and works in Munich.
Ron Haviv documented the violent dissolution of Yugoslavia from 1991-2000. Over that time, he was witness to a variety of war crimes against the people. In 1995, he found himself on the outskirts of Srebrenica photographing survivors of the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.
The photographs of the immediate aftermath, as well as the ceremonies and forensic work that followed are reminders of what can happen in the world today. His work in the Balkans, which spanned over a decade of conflict, was used as evidence to indict and convict war criminals at the international tribunal in The Hague.
His first photography book, Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal, was called “One of the best non-fiction books of the year,” by The Los Angeles Times and “A chilling but vastly important record of a people’s suffering,” by Newsweek.
Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal is an enduring testament to the horrors that the Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, and Kosovar Albanians perpetrated against each other as a result of ancient enmities and modern political manipulation.
Ron Haviv has also authored a film about the Srebrenica massacre called Remembrance.
All the photographs in this gallery are © Ron Haviv – VII
The usual aim of the fable is to teach a lesson by drawing attention to animal behaviour and its relationship to human actions and shortcomings. Animals in fables speak metaphorically of human folly, criticizing human nature. Yet it seems that the nature of Karen Knorr’s work has another aim. In Knorr’s “Fables” the animals are not dressed up to resemble humans nor do they illustrate any explicit moral. Liberated, they roam freely in human territory drawing attention to the unbridged gap between nature and culture. They encroach into the domain of the museum and other cultural sanctuaries which resolutely forbids their entry.
Indifferent, the animal remains “other”, a stranger to the context in which it is inserted. The animal is not the real subject of the work nor is architecture. Karen Knorr’s work shows us the incommensurable distance between two worlds: raw nature on the one hand and on the other the cultural site which allows nature entry only in the form of a representation. Although peaceful, the intrusion of the animals’ presence subverts the institution. The work highlights the “against nature” character of the museum itself.
Karen Knorr’s work assumes this paradox fully and plays with staging the perception of nature within the domain of representation and artifice. The animals displayed are at home here and occupy the rooms freely. In choosing to work with the rooms of museums Karen Knorr acts like the Pied Piper of Hamelin bringing other animals to join the existing animal residents in the Carnavalet Museum, Chambord Castle, Chantilly Castle and Villa Savoye. After this form of cultural tourism, the animals arrive back home to the museum.
The strangeness of this new series of “Fables” does not reside only in the disjunction between nature and culture. Karen Knorr playfully uses digital technology to mix the digital with the analogical. Analogue photography shot on large format cameras is combined with digital photographs of live and dead animals photographed in museum, zoos and nature reserves. The boundaries of the real are challenged by this hybrid. The spectator’s vision may become troubled by the incongruity of the animals photographed together.
The intricate details of a shadow cast on a pillow, the shade of fine plumage, or the contour of a human thigh blur the boundaries between reality and illusion. Beyond the immediate seduction of the photographic images themselves, it is this ambiguity that gives them a particular force.
Photos in order of appearance: 1. Corridor, Musée Carnavalet; 2. Ledoux's Reception, Musée Carnavalet; 3. Blue Salon Louis XVI (3), Musée Carnavalet; 4. The Grand Monkey Room (3), Château de Chantilly; 5. The Green Bedroom Louis XVI, Musée Carnavalet; 6. The King’s Reception, Chambord Castle; 7. Salon Lilac Louis XV, Musée Carnavalet; 8. The Music Room (1), Château de Chantilly; 9. The Queen’s Bedchamber, Chambord Castle; 10. The Stag’s & Wolf’s Room, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature.
These photos on the Paris demonstration (11 January 2015) have been collected by Stefano De Luigi for Eutopia Magazine.
List of photographers in order of appearance in the gallery:
1. Carlos Pinho; 2. Quentin Douchet; 3. Marian Lemke; 4-6. Adrian Morlent; 7-12. Guillaume Herbaut; 14-21. J.B. Russell; 22-24. Dimitri Beck; 25. Martin Argyroglo; 26. Tomas Van Houtryve; 27. Catalina Martin Chico; 28. Paolo Verzone; 29. Pascal Poggi; 30. BeWaPa.
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