Pendant to the sculptures of “The Waters In-Between”, the serie of salted prints “Static Travellers” (2022) challenges playfully the impossibility for those corals to go back to their home land, permanently held by custom department in Switzerland. Douglas Mandry borrows the concept known as diorama, in a serie of 5 still lives, each including one of the sculptures.
A diorama is a museum display of a preserved or reconstructed specimen, as of wildlife in a simulation of its habitat, frequently used in natural history museums. In this case, Mandry blurred the codes of still life and landscape, using as backgrounds printed images shot around the world to create a fictional environment for the coral replicas. A playful gesture intending to send back the corals to their natural environment, using the features of photography.
To complete this process into print, the photographs are exposed on paper by hand, using salt from the Atlantic Ocean – theater of major Great Discoveries – which the artist collected himself. Salt printing is a process invented by Henry Fox Talbot in 1839, based on a reaction of salt and silver gelatin to create a photosensitive surface, which create etheral and fragile analog objects.