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Cloud Physics

Terri Weifenbach

Editions Xavier Barral

Publication date : 2021/06/01
Weight 1224 g / Dimensions 21.5 x 28 cm / 216 pages
ISBN 9782365113069

What perceptions do we have of our environment, what is our relationship to the sensitive world? How to capture the elusive in photography?
For this new series, Terri Weifenbach is interested in living things, nature, water, air, light, fire, and questions the ability of photography to capture the evanescence of natural and sensitive phenomena. Starting from the study of scientific instruments that measure with great precision meteorological events such as cloud formation, the American photographer invites us to explore the changing, metaphorical character of these impalpable events with all the poetry and finesse that characterize her work.

During a residency at one of the scientific observation sites of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Research Facility (ARM), dedicated to the study of atmospheric phenomena, Terri Weifenbach photographs measuring instruments – installed on a vast plain in Oklahoma – like readymades. Twilight radiometers, ceilometers, sunphotometers and rain gauges are captured as sentinels recording climate change. Faced with the photographic protocol of these scientific tools, the American photographer deploys an immersive visual corpus: from the salt marshes of St. Catherines Island to the deep valleys of Montana, from the immemorial parks of Nara, Japan, to the Jardin des plantes of the Museum national d’histoire naturelle in Paris, Terri Weifenbach’s images immerse the reader in a nature perceived through its minute variations of light, humidity, and cloudiness. The clouds thicken, are tinged with golden shades, the plant world rustles, sometimes seems to slip away between blur and sharpness, the animal presence is revealed in the hollow of a wood. The photographic gesture becomes perception. Where are we? The reader will know it only at the end…

An essay by Luce Lebart, on the emergence of artists’ interest in meteorological phenomena from the Renaissance to the first scientific studies on clouds published at the dawn of the 19th century, places Terri Weifenbach’s photographic approach in the long artistic quest to try to restore the world’s sensitivity.

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