Last Name: Emilie
Nominated by: Raphaële Bertho
My research on landscape questions the use of nature by man for functional purposes. By questioning our relationship to the wilderness, I highlight our desire to control nature in often confined and reassuring spaces. My current research focuses on the imitation of nature through the Zoo figure. The history of zoos began in Europe which gave birth to architecture that imitates nature. Progressively abandoning the use of bars, extensive artificial riprap projects have emerged. These constructions began with the introduction of new materials such as iron structures and shotcrete. The feeling of confinement experienced by the visitor has to be reduced to a minimum. This series is not interested in making a zoo typology, but rather seeks the way of hiding architecture in order to create artifacts of idealized wilderness. This project, called “The Eternal”, refers to nature that knows no season, always remaining the same throughout time and the passing years.
A newfound awareness of man’s destructive power emerged around 1860 during the New Continent discovery and that gave birth to the national park system. Wilderness has a historical dimension, tells the story of people, shows the greatness of lands to conquer and rejoins the biblical image of a still virgin territory. This desire to delimit spaces in order to preserve landscapes is the opposite of wilderness. Nature becomes an admired monument displayed on a pedestal. My work will examine this parallel between the scenery found in zoos or urban parks and hidden architecture found in the oldest national park (Yellowstone), in order to question how it was conceived as a national heritage monument. This editorial project aims to show the confusion with archival and contemporary images in the way we have built this representation of the wilderness. I will question our desire to build an idealized image of nature by gradually guiding the reader through the archives of this construction.