Anaïs Tondeur

Paris, France


Anaïs Tondeur is a French visual artist based in Paris. She creates speculative narratives and investigations through which she experiments other conditions of being to the world and other modes of cohabitation with the other-than-humans: plants, rocks, air, water. Here, she searches for a renewal of our modes of perception, and explores, beyond the separation of nature and culture, ways to disrupt the grand narrative of the Anthropocene.

Collaborating with geologists, oceanographers, physicists, philosophers, and anthropologists, her protocols of research took her in expeditions on the traces of particles of black carbon with scientists, through Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, across the Atlantic Ocean or along major frontiers between tectonic plates.

She has presented her work in institutions such as Centre Pompidou and Spencer Museum of Modern Art.

About the artwork

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986, at 1:23:58 a.m. local time, a test in Chernobyl nuclear plant takes a disastrous turn. The core of reactor No.4 explodes, emitting a plume of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere which drifts across the then Western Soviet Union and Europe.

This project is composed of 30 rayograms, created by the direct imprint of specimens from a radioactive herbarium on photosensitive plates. These plants grew in the soils of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, studied by Martin Hajduch’s team who analyzes the impacts of radioactivity on the flora.

The photogram technique uses light as a source to record and archives trauma on the species just as the atomic explosions have illuminated and scarred the mind. With this series of plant imprints, the artist aims to interrogate the scars of a tragedy, material traces of an invisible disaster, these images are captured on the edge of the visible.

Artist's artworks and activities

Chernobyl Herbarium