Jean de Pomereu
French, b. 1969
Fissure 2 (Antarctica) from Sans Nom, 2008
Archival inkjet print
42 x 50 3/4 in. (107 x 129 cm)
Whatcom Museum, Gift of the artist
“This photograph was taken in the Pridz Bay Region of East Antarctica between 1 am and 4 am, when the air was remarkably still, and a thin mist descended upon a group of neighboring icebergs locked into the winter sea ice. Traveling through this ice-scape on a skidoo and on foot felt like entering a lost city, resembling Atlantis, where the icebergs replaced monumental ruins. . . They evoked a sense of eternity—as if time had stopped. Like stone ruins, the icebergs also spoke of cycles and the transience of all things. To me, the ice crack represents and embodies the first fissure in this world of stillness and silence: The first dramatic sign of the coming spring breakup of the sea ice.”
The fusion of abstraction and naturalism defines the work of Jean de Pomereu, who has visited Antarctica five times. As an artist, lecturer, and writer for the International Polar Foundation website, he interprets the continent as a symbol of international cooperation, an archive of paleoclimate, and a barometer of climate change. Pomereu was the official photographer of Lita Albuquerque’s Stellar Axis, Constellation 1, which is also documented in the exhibition. He also coedited a portfolio of Herbert Ponting’s photographs made from the original glass negatives. One of these prints is included in Vanishing Ice.