IN VITRO

Fine art on dibond.

CATALOG  >>

In the summer of 2012, I was in Alsace.
I discovered this space guided by the story of a family of Jewish origin. In this factory, which appeared to me as a gigantic ruined building, Jews interned under Nazi-Fascism worked until they died. Nobody knows anything about this place anymore. The veil of oblivion that has fallen over it removes the certainty that it really existed. It is even less certain that this is the that this is the place mentioned in the story.
Inside the immense space, my body felt itself being pushed more and more towards its glass panes. Similar to the great stained glass windows of a Gothic cathedral, from which the light filtered like a divine emanation, these windows were at once more approachable and within reach of the body. As their proximity became more physical, the gaze entered more into them. If there was an "outside", I perceived it in fragments: as if they were glimpses of some old albumen, or of nineteenth-century pictorial landscapes cut out and placed here and there. Meanwhile, other life manifested itself in the glass. Like the X-rays of the very first hour, other forms unfolded, the nature or intention of which, benign or malignant, I cannot say. (The exceptional discovery of X-rays is due to a Bavarian doctor, who, one night in November 1895, noticed that a sheet of paper on which the letter "A" had been written with a solution of barium platinocyanide shone with light, emitted by invisible rays from a vacuum tube; for many years, before the invention of a lead shield introduced as protection, those who were exposed to X-rays shone with light. For many years, before the invention of a lead shield introduced for protection, people exposed to these rays, even though they were used for medical purposes, died of burns or cancer).
What was in the glass is still hard to say. Whether they were creatures from the past casting their light on the present or the opposite. Fragments of unearthed memory or splinters of some future. Of all this I am not sure. I do know that my eye, my body, my psychic experience registered their sudden flash. Perhaps they have always been there, or from a precise moment onwards.
onwards, perhaps they did not exist, perhaps they will exist. It is even possible that they are among us. I saw them recompose themselves for a few moments in sequences of illuminated plates, either by some light or by themselves. Here I can't tell whether I was a doctor of two centuries ago, laying out the X-rays in his study to analyse them, or a collector in front of his photographic plates
glass plates.
It is perhaps dangerous to talk about all this. 
It is not known to me whether this building is still standing.