Maison Ruinart Prize
Heatwave – Maison Ruinart Prize 2019
September 19th – October 18th, 2020
Commissioned by Maison Ruinart for the Maison Ruinart Prize 2019
As the laureate of the Ruinart Award 2019, I was invited to join the harvest in Champagne, France, in September 2019. It inspired me the work Heatwave, an artistic vision of the connection between nature and the people who work with the vines.
In Heatwave, I blended conventional photography with experimental methods. These include rayograms, made by filtering light through tainted materials used to protect champagne from its adverse affects. Indeed, champagne is affected by light, which has an impact at each stage of its production process : the vineyards are planted on hillsides to capture the sun’s rays as effectively as possible, the cellars are carefully protected from UV rays, which could leave the champagne with un goût de lumière (a taste of light), spoiling its subtle palette of aromas.
This sensitivity to light that champagne shares with photography was my starting point for Heatwave. I decided to raise the issue of climate change that is transforming the connection between people and nature, but also to pay tribute to all the champagne workers who need to adjust in order to get the exact same champagne, year after year, despite the ever-changing climate conditions.