« Nuclear landscapes » > 2016

Nuclear decommissioning as perspective.


Since 1960, fifty-eight nuclear reactors have settled into the French countryside. Set up on around 20 sites, they are progressively arriving at the end of their period of exploitation.
The question of their demolition has now become unavoidable.

For the moment, the French State, through the state-run Électricité de France, has created a program called a "major refit" aimed at prolonging their life span by 20 years. Thus the dismantling of the French nuclear landscape could not even begin before the year 2038 at the earliest. How long will it take? Will the deconstruction and storage methods be operational? Will the political, economic, and social constraints be overcome?

The "Nuclear Landscape" series transforms these questions into images. This interpretation of a non-nuclear future takes shape as a diptych. On the left the image is a classic documentary photograph: the all-powerful reactor that saturates the landscape. On the right, a fictional photograph which portrays a surrealistic scenario: the disappearance of the reactor in an unsure future.

"Nuclear Landscape" puts the uncertain nuclear future into perspective. Will we succeed in transforming these sites into blank slates, denuded of all radioactive trace? Will we ever see the landscapes imagined in this series?

Ambroise Tezenas :

Artistic  Director of the 7th « Rendez-vous image »,  Strasbourg - France
« Nuclear Landscapes » received the second prize 2017.

"Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. The visual impact is immediately thought-provoking.

There are no convoluted concepts or complicated commentaries that often accompany certain photographic works that the observer needs in order to understand the work's meaning.

Jean-Pierre Attal's diptychs question our relationship with the landscape and with nuclear energy without the usual moralizing discourse. His photographs expose a point of view with a legitimate distance, giving us the freedom of our own contemplation."