Benoît Fournier
The spirits of the plants

2016- on going project

Indigenous people Yawanawá appear on leaves thanks to the chlorophyll from plant’s leaves found in their tribe in Amazon rainforest.

The chlorophyll process is an organic alternative photography process, the prints are bleached by sunlight directly onto the surface of leaves using a positive. The work create a subjective memory of the place and its inhabitants and, poetically, establishes a relationship between people and the nature that surrounds them. They have millennial knowledge of plants. The plants are sacred, it is a vision that has been lost in the West but remains in the native cultures. Therefore, the indigenous people cultivate and share a complex “cosmovision”: a view of the universe which embodies the spiritual, social, medical and cultural spheres. Unfortunately, this traditional knowledge is currently threatened and unrecognized.

The leaves operate as a trigger that releases memories and the individuality is present in the result: each leaf is unique and ephemere, as the characters who appear thanks to the chlorophylle. The process is slow and the photographic support is fragile, just like the rhythm of life. The result depends on how the leaf reacts to the sunlight. Therefore, the contact with nature is essential. In this work, the nature acts as a co-author.