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Chromatography - painting

oils on canvas


This series is inspired by Laboratory Life: The Production of Scientific Facts,

by sociologists of science Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar, published in 1979 .

These images retrace the stages of scientific research:


I make these different steps congruent within a single image:





Chromatography (from the ancient Greek χρῶμα / khrôma, “color” and γράφειν / graphein, “write”) is a physico-chemical method which is used to separate the different substances present in a mixture ( sample in liquid or gas homogeneous phase).

The device used to carry out certain chromatographies is called a chromatograph. The image or diagram obtained by chromatography is called a chromatogram.


The paint is diluted and propelled onto the canvas, penetrations and strata of colors appear. The landscape represented is also a chromatogram which reveals the presence of dioxin.

These paintings refer to Vietnam and its contamination by Agent Orange, which was sprayed by plane during the war against the United States from 1961 to 1971.

This work evokes the anguished contemporary relationship that we have with the landscape. Our perception of beauty is relayed by ecological or health concerns.

We are concerned with what is hidden or underlying , and where has been transformed by man.


Agent Orange is the nickname given to one of the herbicides (or more precisely in this case defoliant ), the most used by the United States Army during the Vietnam War between 1961 and October 1971 .

The product was mainly spread by air over Vietnamese forests or on food crops as part of Operation Ranch Hand , which was the result of the Trail Dust program. It was also used by the Americans in Laos and Cambodia or in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. After 1971, the Americans evacuated most of their barrels stored in Southeast Asia to Johnston Atoll . Between 1971 and 1972, however, the South Vietnamese military continued to use defoliants. Particularly because of the presence of dioxin , a family of molecules that persist in the environment and some of which are carcinogenic, Agent Orange is responsible for several diseases in the military ensuring its dispersion but especially in Vietnamese civilians and combatants operating in the directly or indirectly exposed areas. The stability of dioxin, its granulometry, its bio-accumulation give it a lasting effect on the inhabitants of the affected regions, thus causing cases of cancer or birth defects, years after the end of the fighting.

source Wikipedia


Dioxins are organic pollutants that persist in the environment. They are the result of contamination (transport, chemicals or pesticides). They accumulate in the food chain, and especially in animal fats. They can be detected by gas CHROMATOGRAPHY.

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