THREE VIEWS OF GARDANNE
2015 – 2016
Mixed media installation
Red-mud bricks, pine needles, pH indicator (canvas), Geiger counter, protection glass, concrete, wood
Developed with the support of Triangle France in cooperation with the Commission for Independent Research and Information about Radiation (CRIIRAD). Special thanks to Marine Ricard and Amélie Claude.
'Three Views of Gardanne' is a site-specific art project, originating in three landscape paintings of Gardanne by the French Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne. In Gardanne, southern France, Cézanne experimented with blocky polygonal forms of the surrounding townscape juxtaposed with organic forms of vegetation.
Working in the vicinity, near Aix-en-Provence, and using Cézanne's view as focal point, the work aims to capture a contemporary perspective of the hill town area, which today houses the world’s largest producer of specialty alumina. Every day hundreds of tons of polluted red-mud, the main by-product from the production, are created. The heavy metal contaminated and radioactive waste, are deposited at a residue site in Mange-Garri, a little town near by Gardanne, as well as poured via pipelines into the Mediterranean by the offshore waters of Cassis.
Composed as an archive of natural studies. 'Three Views of Gardanne' is a visual and audible encounter, exhibited in three parts, using red-mud, pine needles and water collected from the disposal sites. The working process has been adopted from applications used in the natural sciences, radiation dosimetry and reuse of red-mud conferred to suggested firing techniques of building materials from the alumina industry.