Lambda silver print
169,5 x 120 cm, framed 172 x 123 x 5 cm
Exploring Versailles, Dove Allouche took interest in the materials used to build and decorate the palace, the artist was most intrigued by the simplest material of all: plaster, and consequently the sedimentary rock from which it is extracted, gypsum. Gypsum is part of the Evaporite family, whose name has inspired the title of the series of photographs. This saline rock is formed in inland oceans by evaporation, and then, via the process of dehydration, becomes plaster. “My initial reason for choosing gypsum was its profusion, which is in stark contrast with the taste for rarity seen at Versailles. (…) What is special about sedimentary rock is that it contains an abundance of information relating to our origins (…)”. From a block of gypsum quarried in the Basque region, the artist made twelve ultra-fine slices that he then used as photographic negatives to produce the images on display at Versailles. His subsequent application of a polarizing filter exposes the crystals in the gypsum, bringing to light its harmony of colors. Though produced some 300 million years ago, these colours are often very close to the ones we see at Versailles, as if some primordial beauty always had a hand in mankind’s endeavours.