2011 – Ongoing — Exclusion Zone – Chernobyl, Ukraine
About this series
On Saturday 26th of April, 1986, at 1:23:58 a.m. local time, a test in Chernobyl nuclear plant takes a disastrous turn. The core of reactor No.4 explodes and triggers the release of substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere.
In Chernobyl Herbarium, the philosopher Michael Marder and artist Anaïs Tondeur “reflect deeply on the hyperobject that is the nuclear radiation from Chernobyl through the device of the herbarium, miniature ecosystems that botanists used in the Victorian period. Under the fragile traveling glass of paper and pixels, Marder and Tondeur host tendrils of prose and cellulose. It’s a stroke of genius to have miniaturized something so vast and demonic—we don’t even know how to dream any of this yet (it’s called ecological awareness), and as Marder observes here, just upgrading our aesthetics to cope with the trauma of this awareness is a key unfinished project.” Timothy Morton, Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, Rice University.
Anaïs Tondeur. Born in 1985. Works and lives in Paris.
Anchored in ecology thought. Anaïs Tondeur searches for a new form of political art. Crossing natural sciences and anthropology, myth making and new media processes, she creates speculative narratives and engages on investigations through which she experiments other conditions of being to the world. Working with photographies, installations, or videos. she seeks a new aesthetic, in the sense of a renewal of our modes of perception, and explores beyond the separation between nature and culture, other modes of relationships with humans and other than humans.
Her research protocols lead her on expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean, on the borders between tectonic plates, in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, under surface of Paris, through polluted uban soils or below atmospheric flux of anthropic particles. Yet when she cannot access the territories of her investigations, she creates fictional vehicles, moving for her. This is how she sent a dream into space on board Osiris Rex, a NASA Osiris Rex spacecraft.
She was an artist in research and creation residencies at Chantiers Partagés under the curation of José-Manuel Goncalves and 104 (Montrouge, Bourget, 2018-19), Artlink (Ireland, 2019), at the Museum of Arts et Métiers (Paris, 2018-17), at CNES (Paris, 2016), at the Sustainable Culture Laboratory initiated by COAL at the Domaine de Chamarande (2015-16), at the National Museum of Natural History and Pierre and Marie Curie Institute (Paris, COP 21 2015) and at La Chaire Arts & Sciences (Ecole polytechnique, France, 2013-15).
Graduate from Central Saint Martin (2008) and Royal College of Arts (2010) in London, she was awarded Ars Electronica Cyber Arts Honorable Mention(2019). She has presented and exhibited her work in international institutions such as the Center Pompidou (Paris), La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris), MEP (Paris), Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Serpentines Galleries (London), Bozar (Brussels), Biennale Di Venezia, Pavillon French, (Lieux Infinis), Houston Center of Photography (United States) or the Nam June Paik Art Center (Seoul).