Joan Ayrton — There is a crack in everything


Painting, photography

Joan Ayrton
There is a crack in everything

Ends in about 1 month: January 7 → February 27, 2021

After returning from holidays, a friend told me of her stay in the Hautes-Alpes where she spent several weeks. Having experienced a state of ecstasy before the landscapes’ beauty, she confided in me to reveal the dangers specific to the region. Many stories of walkers who have died during dangerous expeditions, sometimes causing rescuers to fall to their deaths, circulate in the village where she stayed. As she told her story, I imagined and fantasized about the harshness of a life both isolated and confronted with an acute awareness of catastrophy.

Several weeks later, I discovered Joan Ayrton’s analog, black and white photographs that she took from the Grande Dixence dam in the Swiss Alps, the highest gravity dam in the world built to date. Since 2016, she has developed a practice starting from different sites to explore concepts of boundaries, retention and restraint. As a continuation of her research in geology and seismology, she has become interested in how these sites always announce a disaster to come. During our first encounter, she asked herself aloud, “how much pressure is put on an object before it gives way?” and added "how much pressure is put on a person before the spark ignites?”

Extract from the text of Marion Vasseur Raluy, Trois fois la même montagne, 2020 / Translated by Katia Porro