|Sophie Calle, North Pole / Pôle Nord, 2009|
Caixa de luz, placa em porcelana, vídeo, écran, fotografia e moldura
Dimensões variáveis: 225 cm x 500 cm a 65 cm x 800 cm
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelas
My mother always dreamed of going to the North Pole. She died two years ago without fulfilling that dream. Perhaps she wanted to keep it alive. Last year I was invited to the Arctic, and I went for her. To take her there.
In my suitcase: her portrait, her Chanel necklace and her diamond ring.
During the war my grandfather, who was hiding out in the mountains of Grenoble, was afraid a building he owned in the city would be seized. He swapped it for a diamond ring. Not a good deal. My grandmother did not talk to him for a year. But she kept the ring.
I waited to reach the northernmost point on the trip in order to go ashore and bury my mother’s jewels. L., my cabinmate on the boat, suggested that if the weather was not permitting, I could still flush the ring down the toilet. The prospect would have made my mother laugh. But on Thursday October 2, 2008, the weather was fine. I ventured onto the glacier, chose a beautiful stone and buried the portrait, the necklace and the diamond.
Now my mother has gone to the Arctic North. Will climate change carry her out to sea as far as the Pole? Will she be dragged down the valley towards the ice cap? Will she stay on that shore, a marker of the Northern Glacier’s existence in the Holocene period? Maybe in thousands of years, glaciologists will find her ring and endlessly discuss this flash of diamond in Inuit culture.
Or perhaps a beachcomber will discover it and swap it for a house in Grenoble." [Sophie Calle]