The on-going project « Monuments » reflects a relationship between technological evolution and climate change. Fascinated by the juxtaposition of the natural and the mechanical, Douglas Mandry travelled deep into the Swiss Alps, capturing chasms of ice protected by man-made, geotextile fabrics. Those « glacier blankets » are developed in Switzerland as an attempt to slow down the unavoidable process of disappearance.
The blocs of ice are inserted in a self built large format camera containing photo sensitive color paper, travelling with Douglas Mandry through the mountains. Using specific aperture shutters pierced in the wooden camera, the ice is being exposed directly onto the paper. As an outcome, a trace of the melting ice left on the paper, developed in a dark room sometimes several days later.
Meanwhile, collecting amateur found images of glaciers from the early 20st century, Mandry transferred them onto actual pieces of geotextile, which have themselves been brought down from the alps after a season on the ice. Through the antique process of lithography (Steindruck), a double-exposure phenomenon happens: the images, fading memories of golden age in Switzerland’s tourism, become part of the nowadays technological attempts to preserve a past which no longer exists.
As result, an effect of collage where time and space are consciously and playfully shifted by the artist, a product of the digital age where images are reproduced endlessly in virtual formats. Mandry questions materiality. By using physical materials and printing methods, he examines notions of tangibility and permanence. In constant dialogue with his means of making, subject and surroundings, Mandry opens up new ways of engaging with the world around us.
Lithography (Steindruck) on glacier canvas, collected after a season on a swiss glacier, rust, steel various formatsuniques
Installation views: Bildhalle Gallery, 2018 | Centre de la photographie Genève, 2019