THOMAS PAQUET

Resilience  #1, 2017 - Silver print 120x100 cm

« Some of our tribes kept intact a sense of harmony with Earth and a respect for the Universe. We still know not to take more than we need and to give back as much as we can. We know we are ephemeral, whereas Earth, she is here to stay; that we are not here long enough to even think in terms of « propriety »; that we cannot possess her, generations to come will have use of her too.

Earth couldn't care less about human time, she has time on her side. In a thousand years, poisoned waters will be clean again, so will asphyxiated air. Only delirious white men with dreams of grandeur would think they can actually destroy Earth. The only thing they can destroy is their own capacity to live on this planet.»

 

John Trudell, North American writer and musician

 

The suggestion that Earth has entered the Anthropocen is making its way in the scientific community. Anthropocen is proposed as the geological epoch dominated by human activities. Indeed by our action on the environment, notably on the climate, we deeply alter the outer layers of the great big onion which is our planet : the atmosphere, Earth's surface – its biosphere, land, oceans, glaciers.. – and its subsoil.

 

Expansion of the industrial world and concomitant technological advances made for a spectacular development of open-cut mine operations over the last thirty years.

It is absolutely riveting to see entire mountain sides gnawed by machines and cut into ten meter heigh slices, weighing several tons.

In 2016 I went to Quebec to shoot a series of photographs in granite mines.

These images are frontal. They document the stopes of the mining excavation, the site's morphology, the features of the rock. These images record a certain state of the world as shaped by humans.

With the negatives I produced B&W prints with an enlarger, superimposing views.

The densities and transparencies of the silver base combine with each other. This overlaying in turn creates an abstract, organic landscape.

This attempt to reconstruct the original landscape by superimposing fragmentary recordings of the place inspires a meditation on loss and erasure/erosion .

How to communicate the irreversibility of our actions with regards to the exploitation of Nature's  resources ? How to acknolewdege our responsibility in ecological disasters caused by greed ?

Because nobody or nothing is stopping us, does it mean we are at the liberty to deface and destroy our planet?

 

Resilience #2, 2017 - Silver print 116x90 cm

Resilience #3, 2017 - Silver print 116x90 cm

Resilience #4, 2017 - Silver print 116x90 cm