StartPoint Prize 2015

Julie Roch-Cuerrier

What is the colour of everything? If all the colours of something are combined, individual components cease to exist. That is why the new pigment is so appealing and charged with emotions — it contains the past, the imprints of what is no more. Roch-Cuerrier took a world atlas, and by this method levelled out the information contained therein. She sandblasted all the maps and sorted out the extracted pigments. Now we know what colour the world-mainland is and yet we are still within the field of monochromatic abstraction which provides a footing of sorts. The carefully bleached atlas has turned into an exciting, beautiful artefact in which it seems as if the total sum of knowledge has disappeared and is positioned back at the borders of the unknown: hic sunt leones. The most frightful lion is our ignorance, the impossibility to orient ourselves, the fear of the unknown. To reach the end of the world and — to fall off? The atlas has actually worked as a symbol of our power over the world around us and losing this power casts us into uncertainty. When reading the newspaper, we cannot avoid the feeling of which the 30-year-old atlas is a metaphor — that our world is disappearing, the borders are dissolving and only the white colour turns black in some areas. (rv)