Temps de lecture estimé : 6mins

Nous avons reçu récemment l’historienne et curatrice Luce Lebart en invitée de la semaine, à l’occasion notamment de la 19ème édition du festival Fotografia Europea qui se déroule jusqu’au 9 juin à Reggio Emilia, au nord de l’Italie. Luce Lebart est en charge de la codirection artistique aux côtés de TIM Clark et Walter Guadagnini. Elle nous a sélectionné trois expositions à ne pas rater, nous vous proposons aujourd’hui de découvrir la série « Cloud Physics », une une réflexion photographique lumineuse sur les phénomènes atmosphériques de la vie sur Terre de Terri Weiffenbach exposée au Chiostri di San Pietro.

Billions of data points on atmospheric conditions are regularly collected from around the globe. Once processed, they are published in daily weather reports and at the same time, archived as part of a major observation exercise on climate change. Initially, the tasks of observing and gathering information fell to those whose life and survival depended on weather conditions, on both land and sea: sailors, fishermen and farmers. Their predictions came from the observation of plants and the behavior of animals, including swallows, crows, donkeys, frogs, cats, dogs and owls. All living beings, together with clouds and celestial bodies – especially the moon – were called upon to predict rain or sunshine.

© Terri Weiffenbach

Instead of sailors, painters and meteorologists, instruments now produce data. They do so automatically, keeping watch on climate and weather. This is what instruments look like: still, static and solid. In fact, they are the opposite of the atmospheric phenomena they record and the opposite of moving clouds, made of constantly changing droplets.

When Weifenbach learned of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Research Facility (ARM) in the United Sates, she decided to travel to the Oklahoma plains, to find out about the tools that measure atmosphere. Her first impression when coming into contact with them was that they were avant-garde, ready-made sculptures, scattered haphazardly over acres of huge plains: “Most of these instruments are shielded, clad or covered to protect them from wind, heat and cold, making them surrealistic objects, but also providing them with a degree of humanity.” The photographer offers enlightening images of these sentinels recording climate change. She plays with perspective blur around some of them, in the tradition of photo portraits, to show them to their best advantage.

© Terri Weiffenbach

Diving into the whirlwind of images in Cloud Physics means setting out on a journey with no anchorage point. In Habiter en oiseau (Living as a Bird) philosopher Vinciane Despret writes that territory “is where everything becomes rhythm, a melodic landscape, pattern and counterpoint, material for expression. Territory can be seen as the effect of art.” Here, the way in which images are organized create resonance and reveal reciprocity. A subtle meeting occurs of shapes, colors and optical aberrations. Links are created between a raindrop, a vanishing ray of sunshine, a bird in flight, the fur of a deer and children swimming. Water states and image effects interact: haze and blur, dew and clouds. Both territory and images live off constantly created links. In uprooting images from their geographical location, Weifenbach depicts the communality of living beings, of earth and sky, of sun and clouds. The images celebrate visceral attachment to nature, its beauty and its mysteries. But they also reveal the fear and worry in the face of its extinction.

Fotografia Europea
Jusqu’au 9 juin 2024
Chiostri di San Pietro
Reggio Emilia, Italie

La Rédaction
9 Lives magazine vous accompagne au quotidien dans le monde de la photographie et de l'Image.

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