Christophe Jacrot, with his series En dessous de zéro, continues his exploration of extreme winters, started in Iceland with the series and the book Snjór (h’artpon, 2016), which have enjoyed great public and critical success. He invites us this time to a world tour in the blizzard, with images taken where the wind blows hard: Siberia, Canada, through the Vercors or Japan.
This frozen trip has five stages:
Norilsk (Siberia, Russia): This mining town built under Stalin by prisoners to exploit the nickel of the subsoil, is located 200km north of the Arctic Circle. Accessible only by air and prohibited to foreigners, it is one of the most polluted and coldest cities in the world. The mercury can drop to -50 ° while blowing the “Purga”, wind that frequently reaches 100km / h. Many buildings today risk collapsing du to the melting of the permafrost in northern Siberia: Some housing units in Norilsk have already been evacuated.
Hokkaido (Japan): In winter, the most northerly of the four big Japanese islands is at the heart of a constant depression. The confrontation between the cold winds from Siberia and the currents of hot air of the Pacific causes important and quasi-permanent precipitations. The layer of snow reaches 2 meters in the plain and the inhabitants are forced to clear snow daily: “A task that seems exclusively attributed to women”, notes Christophe Jacrot.
Tasiilaq (Greenland): this small town on the island of Ammassalik is very close to the Arctic Circle and is constantly swept in winter by the “Piteraq”. This wind is commonly blowing at more than 200 km / h: “Its strength can increase in five minutes and it suddenly becomes almost impossible to move forward,” says Christophe Jacrot who found himself in this situation.
Vercors (France): it is a small French Siberia dear to the heart of Christophe Jacrot who has a house in the region. This lover of the cold likes to wander in winter on this plateau 1000 meters above sea level, the first mountain barrier before the Alps, on which abut the depressions coming from the North. But global warming, here as elsewhere, is doing its work …
Snæfellsnes Peninsula (Iceland): the photographer had already brought from the Ice Age the series “Snjór” which resulted in the publication of a book published in 2016 and reissued in 2018 (Ed. H’artpon) . He returned to the west of the island, on a strip of land where storms are constant throughout a winter that lasts 6 months.
Magdalen Islands (Quebec, Canada): In this archipelago located in the heart of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence river, whose waters are largely frozen in winter, the northwesterly wind blows steadily throughout the cold season.
These are the first stages of a world tour of snowstorms that Christophe Jacrot intends to continue this winter, with the project of publishing a new book in 2019.
Christophe Jacrot – Below zero
November 27, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Gallery of Europe
55 rue de Seine