Charbon Blanc

Teo Becher

2016 - 2019

France; Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Rhône-Alpes, France

Maurienne’s mountains are marked with ambiguities, contradictions, oppositions. Nicknamed “the aluminum valley”, space is mastered and exploited there. From the numerous factories that were once scattered along the Arc river, only one is remaining, bordered by a highway – one of the only in the Alps – and soon by a high speed train line that however has risen up opposition among the inhabitants, mainly after suspicions of corruption and pollution. Even if a few ski resorts dot the summits, the main part of the space in Maurienne stands in the uninhabitable, thus matching the romantic image of a pure and sublime nature.

At first, I’ve felt the need of a physical experience of the landscape. Be in the mountain, walk, breath. It became like roaming this uninhabitable, what can be felt only by foot, at the closest to the topography, immersed in the landscape.

Those two layers add and mix, like a recognition walk through the territory, to try and know every corner.

'Charbon blanc' will be published by Le Bec en l'Air in September 2021.

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