Artist member of Adagp for the management of copyright.
Lives and works between Saint Malo & Paris. 


Immersed in intimate, physical or metaphysical spaces, Manon Lanjouère's multidisciplinary work questions our imaginations and reveals a seductive combination of science and poetry. Traditionally opposed, these two disciplines placed on the same level create a disturbing strangeness that is plastically attractive.
Scientific research, in the fields of astronomy, meteorology or oceanography, is often the starting point and source of her projects.
By taking inspiration from scientific literature and popularisation texts and by borrowing codes linked to the scientific world such as protocol systematism, experiments, collection of samples or laboratory equipment, although it is most often only a question of transpositions, conversions or reinterpretations, her productions immerse us in the centre of natural events that could only take place in dreams. Natural phenomena which, although scientifically explained, nevertheless retain a significant power of fascination over us.

The photos, sculptures, ready-made assemblages, models, collages, archives and poetic writings that shape her installations are as much scientific research as artifice. An unusual story is to be found beneath fabricated images, clues, words that invite reflection and the creation of false witnesses reveals the ambiguity of our perceptions to better mislead us. She wishes to awaken the energy of seeing, transforming the gaze into a clear and easy action leading to a real awareness. The viewer is then asked to become a researcher by questioning the veracity of the pieces and documents he is given to observe. His participation is like a key to reading. It allows us to fully apprehend the atmospheres that emanate from her installations. Photography finds a plasticity that unfolds in the exhibition space and that activates our senses.

At the heart of her creation, fiction is at the service of the new narratives she weaves in each project. Her interest in the 17th century and the emergence of systems of tools for observing the world, such as the microscope, the telescope, and later photography, which offer accessibility to the invisible, allow her to tell and narrate the unknown. Fiction thus plays a central role, as it allows one to go beyond the limitations of observable reality to find a new point of view from which to describe the world. Manon Lanjouère thus sets up a form of mimesis of the invisible, where the mental image calls upon our collective imagination. Her imaginary stories and their marvellous dimensions are now mixed with images of present-day progress to give rise to a reality not yet seen, proposing a journey between past and anticipation. Fictions become a fundamental stimulus for the apprehension by men of their environment. Behind each story, the attempt to understand the interaction between landscape and human remains central. Manon Lanjouère is constantly questioning our relationship to the Earth, to the living, to the Universe and questions the border between artificial and natural in the era of the Anthropocene.



To come / Soloshow at Le Kiosque, 29th march - 26th May 2024, Vannes, FRANCE, Les Particules
Group show “Dialogue”, Photo Brussels Festival, 25th January - 25th February 2024, Contrast School, Brussels, BELGIUM, Les Particules

Exhibition Gare & Connexion “Tara x Manon Lanjouère”, 6th November - 15th December, gare de Lyon, Paris, FRANCE, Les Particules
Biennale Photoclimat, from 14th September to 15th October, Academie du Climat, Paris, FRANCE, P·O·E·M (Particules de polyéthylène modèles pour l'étude des micro/nano- plastiques dans les océans) Groupshow “Ressac”, from 1st June to 17th September, Galerie TELMAH, Rouen, FRANCE, Les Particules Duoshow with Richard Pak, from 28th April to 16th September, Stimultania, Strasbourg, FRANCE, Les Particules

2022 /
Soloshow at Salon Approche on galerie du jour Agnès b. Booth, from 10th to 13th November 2022, Paris, FRANCE, Les Particules
Soloshow at Festival de la Quinzaine photographique Nantaise,
from 21th October to 20th November 2022, Nantes, FRANCE, Les Caprices de la foudre
Soloshow at Festival H2O Artecisse,
from 30th September to 9th October 2022, Chouzy-sur-cisse, FRANCE, Les Particules
Group show “Valles Marineris” at the Biennale Photo Mulhouse, from 4th June to 26th August 2022, Mulhouse, FRANCE, Le Laboratoire de l’Univers
Group show “Image 3.0” organised by the Jeu de Paume Paris, in partnership with the National Center of Arts  (CNAP), from  20th May to 4th September 2022 at the Cellier in Reims, FRANCE, Mémoire d’un Futur

2021 /
Group show at Kyotographie x MEP Studio, with the support of Kering and its program “Woman in Motion”, from 18th september to 18th october, in HOSOO Gallery, Kyoto, JAPAN,  Demande à la poussière
Group show “Mimésis” , Festival des Promenades Photographiques de Vendôme, from 3rd July to 19th September, Vendôme, FRANCE, Les Caprices de la foudre

Solo show at Fotografia Europea, from 17th October 2020 to 28th March 2021, Fondazione Palazzo da Mosto, in Reggio Emilia, ITALY, Le Laboratoire de l’Univers
Solo show Art Center of Moulinsart, from 15th March to 5th April, in Fillé-sur-Sarthe, FRANCE, Bleu Glacé
Solo show le Studio at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), from 17th January to 16th February, in Paris, FRANCE, Demande à la poussière
Group show “Élégies” , 1+2 Residency, at the Chapelle des Cordeliers from 17th October to 17th November, in Toulouse, FRANCE, La Mécanique Céleste
Group show “Pulvérulence de la photographie”, curated by Bruno Dubreuil at the Immix Gallery from 27th September to 31st October, in Paris, FRANCE, Demande à la poussière
Group show Athens Photo Festival (APhF:19), from 13th June to 27th July, in Athens, GREECE, Bleu Glacé

Paris Photo Fair,Fisheye Gallery Booth, from 6th to 9th November, FRANCE, Demande à la poussière
Group show Festival la Gacilly in Baden, from 8th June to 28th September, in Baden, AUSTRIA, Bleu Glacé
Group show Festival les Boutographies, from 5th to 27th May, in Montpellier, FRANCE, Bleu Glacé
Group show Les Rencontres internationales de la jeune photographie, CACP Villa Pérochon, from 14th April to 26th May, L’Attrait de la lumière, from 7th March to 13th April, Bleu Glacé, in Niort, FRANCE
Group show "Objet de tendresse", at the Michel Journiac Gallery from 5th to 17th April partnering with Lafayette Anticipations and STartE, in Paris, FRANCE, Plus qu’un objet. Bien plus qu’une Mémoire
Group show Biennale les Rencontres photographiques du 10ème, City Hall of the 10th district, from 16th October to 18th November, in Paris, FRANCE, Bleu Glacé
Group show “Expo-sed”, Les Rencontres d'Arles(voies-off), Atelier Gaston Luppée, from 3rd to 9th July, in Arles, FRANCE, Demande à la poussière
Group show Fisheye Gallery during Les Rencontres d'Arles (voies-off), from 3rd July to 31st August, in Arles, FRANCE, Bleu Glacé
Group show Festival la Gacilly,  from 3rd June to 30th September, in la Gacilly, FRANCE, Bleu Glacé
Group show Festival Itinéraire des photographes voyageurs, from 1st to 30th April, in Bordeaux, FRANCE, Bleu Glacé


2023 /
Winner Talent contemporain Fondation François Schneider 

2022 /Winner Prix Photographie & Science (résidence 1+2), Les Particules
Winner Prix Quinzaine Photographique Nantaise, Les Caprices de la Foudre

2021 /
Winner of the Residency Fondation Tara Ocean Mission Microbiomes, Les particules
Finalist of the Icart Artistik Rezo Award, Bleu Glacé

2020 / Winner Commission “Image 3.0” with the CNAP and the Jeu de Paume

2019 /Finalist Photolux Award, nominated by Musée de l’Élysée, Bleu Glacé
Finalist Prix HSBC pour la Photographie, Demande à la poussière

2018 /Finalist Prix Quinzaine Photographique Nantaise, Demande à la poussière
Finalist of the Guernsey Photography Festival Competition, Bleu Glacé

2017 /Winner Fidal Youth photography Award, Demande à la poussière Finalist Emerging Photographer Fund  (burn magazine), Bleu Glacé
Finalist Bourse du Talent#71 Studio, Bleu Glacé
Finalist Prix Quinzaine Photographique Nantaise, Bleu Glacé

2021 /
Residency Fondation Tara Océans (from 10th October to 10th November, between Salvador de Bahia and Rio de Janeiro)

2019 /Residency 1+2, Toulouse, FRANCE ( from 1st March to 30th April)

2018 /CACP Villa Pérochon, Encounters of Young International Photography, Niort, FRANCE (from 29th March to 15th April)

2016 /Burren College of Art, IRELAND (from 1st September to 31st October)

Conferences & Talks

Les Grandes Rencontres du Salon de la Photo : Photography & Science, a talk with Andreina de Bei Deputy Editor-in-Chief, photo at Science & Avenir La Recherche. October 2023

Prix Photographie & Science :  meeting and screening of the first two winners of the Prix Photographie & Sciences #2021 and #2022.At the ADAGP. September 2023
Conference at Contrast School in Brussels for their cycle on "Environmental issues, ecology and utopia". September 2023

Conference at School of art of beauvaisis, cycle “Gravitation - Revolution” - February 2021
Talk  MEP x The Eyes, Meeting Point #4,  “The scientist as the driving force behind photographic research”, February 2020

Round-table discussion MEP/PhotoDoc, cross references, January 2020

Annual Seminar “Photography & Science” , résidence 1+2, October 2019

Acquisitions & Collections
Fondation François Schneider, Wattwiller, France Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), Paris, France
CNAP, Centre National des arts plastiques, France
Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, France
Collection CACP Villa Pérochon
Collection Fidal, France
private collection, France, USA, Italia



Lintervalle blog, 22nd october 2023, Les Particules
Sciences & avenir Online, 5th october 2023, Les Particules
Rue 89 Strasbourg, 13th august 2023, Les Particules

Sciences et Avenir, 28th july 2023, Les Particules
DNA, 11th may 2023, Les Particules
CNRS Journal, 28th april 2023, Les Particules

Sciences et Avenir Online, 11th december 2022,  Les Particules
Fisheye Magazine Online, 11th november 2022,  Les Particules Quotidien de l’art, 16th november 2022, p4,  Les Particules
Fisheye Magazine Online, 15th october 2022,  Les Particules

Artistik Rezo.com, interview, 17th February 2021
Fisheye Magazine Online, thursday 13th february 2020, La Mécanique Céleste
“Les carnets de la création”, broadcast on France Culture by’Aude Lavigne, thursday 6th february and replay, Demande à la poussière
Figaroscope n°23462, wednesday 22th January 2020, p 25, Demande à la poussière
Que faire à Paris, Le révélateur de Bon Plan, 13-17 January 2020,  Demande à la poussière
Télérama Sortir n°3651, 1-7 January 2020, p 10-11, Demande à la poussière

Pour la Science n°505, November 2019, p 86-87, La Mécanique Céleste
Fisheye Magazine n°36, May-June 2019, p45-49,  Demande à la poussière

Fisheye Magazine n°33, November-December 2018, p38-39, Demande à la poussière
I-D Magazine Online, 30th April 2018, Bleu Glacé, L’Attrait de la lumière
Télérama n°3562, p 66, Bleu Glacé
Mowwgli Online, 18th April 2018, L’Attrait de la lumière
Mowwgli Online, 6th March 2018, Bleu Glacé
Burn Magazine Online, January 2018, Bleu Glacé
Fisheye Magazine n°28, January-February 2018, p114-115, Demande à la poussière

Selection of BRIGHT Susan for the Guest Room of der Greif, November 2017, Demande à la poussière
Fisheye Magazine Online, November 2017, Bleu Glacé
Portfolio Selection in Gup Online, 17th August 2017, Bleu Glacé
Fisheye Magazine n°24, May-June 2017, p112, Bleu Glacé

Selection of CANDROWICZ Krzyszto for the Guest Room of Der Greif, November 2016, Bleu Glacé


Photography of possible worlds /Photographic retrodiction and uchrony - Michel Poivert, in his book Contre-culture dans la photographie contemporaine
(about the serie Demande à la poussière)

The historian can indeed remove pieces from the puzzle of the past to identify new relationships between causes and effects, and propose new agreements between narratives and explanations. This Gedankenprozess is the basis of the contractual approach, the history of "possibilities" and things that have not happened, and reminds us that the narratives of the past only became a historical science at the end of the 19th century - precisely when photography imposed itself, through its documentary value, as the ally of modern science. Going back in time and finding a narrative that makes it possible to adjust a logic between the facts and the documents: this retrodiction, which reminds us that the historian, like the artist, proposes to give a coherent form to the inaccessible, has become for the photographer a field of expression that raises him to the level of an imaginary operator.

The retrodictions and uchronies of the origins, and from them of the whole history of photography, are now accompanied by a taste for the creation of new legends. Their starting points, which are more like postulates of mathematical theory than intuitions, allow the construction of multidisciplinary poor whose coherence is based on the evidential value of photography. In keeping with the theories of possible worlds, everything is potentially real. The French artist Manon Lanjouère, in Demande à la poussière : l'empreinte du ciel (2017), thus mixes the poetry of catastrophes with our need for narratives. Imagining the consequences of a storm that leaves the roof of a house gaping under the starry sky, the artist collects stories, vernacular images, and fictitious scientific documents, then creates portraits of blinded characters and night views linked into an installation. The Milky Way would be composed of grains of silver dust born of photographic practices, like so many words scattered in the universe whose memory should recover the meaning.

Looking at a generation of artists with a solid background in photography, one becomes aware of the role that utopias have played in photography. Imagination produces new worlds where the representation of reality becomes unstable, where objectivity loses its ties to reality: a world that is at once psychic (that of inner images), extralucid and futuristic, a parallel world whose work structures a potential of reality made up of common anxieties and desires. All this, as we have said, seems to be specific to literature or cinema, where narratives allow us to navigate through time and invent characters and situations; or to mathematics and philosophy, which are capable of building entire worlds without being predetermined by reality and systems of authority. But isn't photography now also a sufficiently free and flexible mode of expression to build "possible worlds »?
It is therefore no longer a question of image as much as of imagination in photography. Imagination is a somewhat overused notion. In photography it even seems paradoxical. Yet the imaginary is one of the great concepts of modernity; throughout the 20th century, from Bachelard to Sartre, it has woven a network of knowledge, both physiological and poetic, that has never been intended to neutralise desires or dreams. This escape from the positivism established by progress has enabled the sensible to retain its values and Faure to make science an ally. Scientific imagination and artistic creativity go hand in hand when it comes to imagining worlds.
The invention of possible worlds is not synonymous with escape from our world. It can be a question of extensions, of parallel worlds that are not free of political questions: the potential for reorganising human beings, the subversion of genres and cultures, spiritualism and esotericism, etc. On a formal level, everything is put into play.
Photography takes on accents of freedom by experimenting with all forms of devices and technologies. In a history of photography today, the possible worlds resemble an immense utopian breath - a liberation of the imagination.

The stuff of Heroes - Fabien Ribéry
(about the serie the Celestial Mecanic)

Man is heavy, his hat is heavy, his brain is heavy and he regularly dreams of sending it packing, to Hell, or to Space, for example. The ground is heavy but it serves the dialectics of attraction and repulsion; it is a point of reference on which we can count. We belong but we dream of liberating ourselves, of disappearing, of escaping beyond the clouds. Up there where it is all silence and solitude it will be better, relaxing, maybe for a very long time even. We need only to step on the gas and leave at the right time.

A terrestrial body meets the celestial body – what will they have to say to each other? How to compare them? Who will translate their silent conversations? Can you see a smile from under a cosmonaut’s helmet? Manon Lanjouère keeps asking these questions in her research notebooks, in her photographs, in her collages, in her installations, in her odd objects fallen from an unknown planet. Let us call her Hybrid. The right balance must be found in order not to weigh down too much on the air or on the eyes or on the ego, but to create a heart that beats between all of us.

The ethics of the passer-by, of bungee jumping, of well unwound sellotape and of the orchestration of comets. We go into darkness, darker and darker, we have at last passed through the screen but is there even anything behind it? Must we come out of Plato’s cave? Are illusions not the possibility itself of our existence? A window passes through a window passes through a window. Origin itself is a fiction with which we can play.

I see Manon Lanjouère as an open territory, a questionning power and especially as the will to not close her questions off. Her approach is heuristic, finding its way through trial and error, inventing itself, as a tightrope walker on the line of the horizon, in a cobbled-together composite. In the night of Space there are no more milestones, it is a vertical dive into emptiness, the void, the infinite amniotic. We must be prepared to leave the light in order to come back to it differently, in oneself perhaps.

La Mécanique des femmes (“The Mechanics of Women”) by Louis Calaferte, in which the compass of a woman’s legs could represent God was published in 1992. In it one can read definitive sentences such as “Hell does not scare me. I am a daughter of fire.”.As for Manon Lanjouère’s rocket, it has penetrated Space, it is the technological ecstasy of supralunar flight, Méliès’ finger in the eye and the cardboard scenery. The void is a call, a delight, a challenge. Budding astronaut, oblique researcher, the artist brings together pieces and documents, rummages through NASA’s archives, manufactures evidence and memory, allows her intuitions to soar, fixes vertigo.

Manon Lanjouère readies herself, rereads Gaston Bachelard, interrupts her psychoanalysis and departs on a mission. Incidentally, in 1934 the author of Air and Dreams, thinking of Shelley wrote “The world is an immense cradle – a cosmic cradle – from which dreams consistently take flight.”
The artist cuts things up, glues, associates, creates coloured continuities, invents combinations. Jules Verne stands alongside Etienne-Jules Marey and the operetta rocket alongside the one made by gifted engineers. Inspired by encyclopaedic illustrations the plastic artist studies trajectories, draws graphs, allies fantastical spirit and serious analysis in the amused fascination of her subject, plate after plate, piece after piece. Science is a territory of dreams, a childhood furthered by other means when you are clairvoyant and when scraped knees don’t stop you from dancing.

With Manon Lanjouère there is a great pleasure of forms, of machines of vision and of the different natures of reality’s colliding orders. If this work resembles an investigation guided by a principle of free associations it is enchanted by the performative power of dreamy bubbles that constitute its own weightlessness little planet. We mustn’t insist but suggest trails, emit hypotheses, return to the drawing-board, rearrange, to not be afraid of the dark and simply invite everyone to get with us into a strange cockpit bound for Orion.

Pulverulence of photography : swarms, stellar dust, fog and interference - Bruno Dubreuil
(about the series Demande à la Poussière)

Since its origins, photography has been in search of the sky, the moon and the stars. Searching for points of light in the dark night, or the excessive visibility of the sun, the lightning strike and electrical phenomena. It was hungry for travel, on land and at sea, in the stars as well as in bodies and even in the most infirm corpuscular divisions. What she found along the way was nothing but herself, that writing of light capable of surviving time.

But even more than another exhibition about photography looking at itself (which has almost become rhetoric today), it would be an exhibition about the gaze. Or rather on looks. As many looks as there are steps. As many looks as there are spectators. But then, what looks?

The one that goes hand in hand with the world, in which it immerses itself without restraint : the look that likes to lose itself in infinite spaces, those that relate the infra-thin dust of our daily life to interstellar nebulae. This loss of scale, from the microscopic to the macroscopic, like an eternal optical game, a state of childhood innervated with imagination. The look by atomization, Sandrine Elberg.

There is also the look that concentrates on a simple point to the vertigo of hypnosis. Repeated flashes strike the photosensitive surface made up, layer after layer of bichromate gum, this historical technique of photography that the shooter strips with the brush. Colour almost by accident. The look by intense concentration, Mustapha Azeroual.

And finally, the look that digs, searches, scrutinizes. Seeking to pierce the opacity, to push back the night and cross the spaces of time. To find what? To conjure up what anxieties? To escape what fears? Because since the beginning, men have linked the elements and the threads of life to create stories, to give meaning to this infinite vertigo. To find the thread of the stories, to build a fiction. The narrator's look, Manon Lanjouère.

The look dissolves itself in the images, our body projects itself into them, it becomes points, lines, shapes, silhouettes. Finally, considers this : when the grain of the cosmos merges with the silver comets, seeing is nothing but desire, at the frontiers of proof and imagination. Looking at photographs or at the stars is never more than looking for our position in the world.

Manon Lanjouère



Les Particules, le conte humain d’une eau qui meurt

Images I Manon Lanjouère
Preface I  Michel Poivert
Interview I Manon Lanjouère & Ika Paul-Pont conducted by  Andreina de Bei
Languages I  French, English
Graphic design I  Sarah Boris Studio
Collection I Civis Maritimus
Format I  20 x 28 cm, 56 pages, SoftCover, OTAbind
Price I 35€

Buy your copy

Book Signings 

during Paris Photo at The Eyes Publishing Stand SE18 | Grand Palais Éphémère  | Champ-de-Mars  | Place Joffre  |  Paris 7ème

Guest Curator : Chloe Dewe Mathews.

Portfolio about the book Les Particules
  • Launching on November 9th from 7 to 9 pm at Quai de la Photo  | 9 Port de la Gare | Paris 13ème
  • Signing on November 10th from 6 pm at Paris Photo, The Eyes Publishing Booth  | Grand Palais Éphémère  | Champ-de-Mars  | Place Joffre  |  Paris 7ème


P·O·E·M installation as part of the Photoclimat biennial.
Mixing sculpture, light and the photographic series Les Particules, the installation takes the form of a molecule and the DNA pattern, evoking the idea that with plastic and chemical pollution, humans are changing the very essence of the ocean.On display from September 14th to October 15th at the Académie du Climat, 2 place Baudoyer, 75004 Paris. Free entry : Monday-Tuesday 9am-9pm ; Wednesday-Saturday 9am-00pm

Public vernissage on October 4th from 6pm at Académie du Climat

Talk & Conferences

  • Prix Photographie & Science : Tuesday September 12th at 6:30 pm , meeting and screening of the first two winners of the Prix Photographie & Sciences #2021 and #2022 (with Richard Pak).
    At the ADAGP, 11 rue Duguay Trouin, Paris.

  • Les Grandes Rencontres du Salon de la Photo : Photography & Science, a talk with Andreina de Bei Deputy Editor-in-Chief, photo at Science & Avenir La Recherche. On Friday October 6th, 4-5 pm, at Auditorium Boris Vian, Grande Halle de la Vilette, Paris.

Les Particules
le conte humain d’une eau qui meurt

I am very pleased to be one of the laureats of Contemporary Talents of Fondation François Schneider. My work Les Particules will enter the collection of the fondation during the course of 2023.

Download the presskit ︎︎︎

Press article in DNA
par Veneranda Paladino le 11.05.2023
english translation below ︎︎︎

Winners of the Photography & Science Award, Manon Lanjouère and Richard Pak present their plastic and photographic works at the Strasbourg gallery Stimultania. Disconcerting and fascinating, they expose the consequences of predation and pollution between the island of Nauru and the ocean.
The ocean is the link between the winners of the young Photography & Science Prize. Their artistic approach may differ, but Manon Lanjouère, the 2022 winner, and Richard Pak, the previous year's winner, share a common political purpose. The criticism of the misdeeds and consequences of a system of resource exploitation based on predatory and polluting capitalism. However, there is nothing frontal in their works, which borrow, for one, from fable and notably the poetics of 19th century herbariums, but also from sculpture for the other.
Cyanotype and phosphoric acid
We immerse ourselves in the abyss with the young sailor Manon Lanjouère, who is moored just a stone's throw from the Tour Solidor in Saint-Malo. Her stage design is theatricalizing a work in progress, Les Particules. It is an anticipation story that shows a marine world made entirely of plastic. This project also led her, in the autumn of 2021, on the scientific schooner Tara, off the coast of Brazil. Plastic pollution is in fact a known but little-known subject," points out Manon Lanjouère. Microplastics have a greater impact on the microscopic organisms that inhabit the ocean. Like phytoplankton, which is of prime importance in the organisation of our ecosystem," says the artist. Although she no longer uses plastic, she collects its waste on the beaches, in the rubbish bins - straws, badminton shuttlecocks, cotton buds can be seen in a separate space in the exhibition. These plastic materials are used to create new forms representative of microbiomes and plankton. Photographed on the cyanotype principle, they are decorated on the second glass plate with touches of luminescent paint that live in the oceans. Inspired by Anna Atkins' British Algae herbarium, Manon Lanjouère shifts the scientific message to a mise en abyme of a nature damaged by Man.

Press article in CNRS Le Journal
Par Sébastien Chavigner le 28.04.2023 ︎︎︎
english translation below ︎︎︎

Terribly real Illusions
Winner of the 2022 Photography & Science prize, Manon Lanjouère presents Les Particules, le conte humain d’une eau qui meurt, a fascinating work resulting from a month's stay on board the schooner Tara, which travels the world's oceans to conduct environmental research. Her cyanotypes, a real trompe-l'oeil, show us microscopic underwater species... which are in reality assemblages of plastics recovered from the oceans. We dump more than 8,000 tonnes of plastic into the ocean every year, of which only 1% remains on the surface," she explains. "The rest sinks, and above all breaks down into microplastics, often invisible to the naked eye, which have a terrible impact on phytoplankton and other underwater species and affect our atmosphere and our food, for example. It is this drama that I seek to alert us to, by forcing the viewer to come closer to see the deception and to reflect on it."
Aesthetically, the use of the cyanotype technique is a tribute to the British botanist Anna Atkins, whose famous herbarium British Algae became a reference in the 19th century; moreover, all the false "species" presented by Manon Lanjouère bear a Latin name, reinforcing the deception. "The aim is to make us question the veracity of the photographic object," she says. "The history of photography is closely linked to that of science, and the image is often taken as a guarantee of veracity. There are therefore several levels of reading in my work, and I provide the keys throughout the exhibition, thanks in particular to texts written with the scientists with whom I have collaborated."
A fruitful collaboration that should continue, according to the main interested party: "I have always found science magical," she smiles. As a child, I was always leafing through encyclopaedias and scientific illustrations... And this has been part of my work since the beginning, with a marked passion for the 19th century. As a Breton, it was logical for me to turn to the ocean, and I intend to continue this exploration for a few more years, always taking an interest in pollution, which is a subject very close to my heart". This will certainly be done in 3D, by going into the field of sculpture, to complete her herbarium, which already includes some thirty pieces, the most beautiful of which will be exhibited in Strasbourg.
[ ... ]

Press article in Sciences Et Avenir
Par Andreina De Bei le 11.12.2022 ︎︎︎
english translation below ︎︎︎

Photography & Science Prize 2022: poetic manifesto against microplastic

The project "Les Particules, le conte humain d'une eau qui meurt" (Particles, the human tale of a dying water) has won the Prix Photographie & Sciences 2022, co-organised by the Résidence 1+2 Toulouse, the CNRS and the ADAGP. The winner, Manon Lanjouère, will continue her work combining art and science on the subject of microplastic pollution in the oceans.

On 15 October 2022, during the conference organised by the Résidence 1+2 Toulouse, Manon Lanjouère was chosen as the winner of the second edition of the Photography & Science Prize. This initiative brings together Sciences et Avenir-La Recherche, the CNRS, and the ADAGP (Society of Authors in the Graphic and Plastic Arts), among others, in a partnership with the Toulouse Residence initiated in 2015. CASDEN, Picto Foundation and Stimultania, a photography centre based in Strasbourg, are also participating, and will exhibit the winning works in April 2023. The grant of 7,000 euros should enable a photographer to complete a project in connection with scientific research. The documentary precision and quality of the work presented by the candidates for the 2022 prize, which we were able to observe by participating in the final jury, confirm the growing attraction of the sciences for highly involved artists. Even in disciplines as far from the public as nuclear fusion: a special mention was given to Ezio D'Agostino's Sun Dog series, built around the thermonuclear reactor ITER.

"Les Particules, le conte humain d'une eau qui meurt" (The particles, the human tale of a dying water)

As for the winner, she has established herself with a long-term project, "Les Particules, le conte humain d'une eau qui meurt", started during an artistic residency on board the schooner Tara, which criss-crosses the waters of the globe in research expeditions conducted under the sign of environmental protection. Thanks to this grant, she will continue her artistic restitution of the Herculean hunt for microplastics that massively pollute the oceans: "Cradle of our life, the ocean is slowly being transformed into the tomb of Man... Because of their very small size, these particles slip through the net and unfortunately cannot be recovered. We are faced with a theatre of activity of underwater life suffocated by plastic, a new 'vegetation' of nightmares", says Manon Lanjouère. The young artist with roots in theatre has been combining scientific, literary and historical inspirations since her early days in photography, and translates them into an inventive and subtle interdisciplinary plastic practice, mixing sculptures, collages of old documents, sounds, installations…

The cyanotypes on glass already produced in the first part of her project - recently exhibited by the Galerie du jour agnès b. at the Salon Approche in Paris - take up the iconography of natural history plates, images in microscopy captioned for identification and archival purposes. It is the work of collecting and studying samples of marine micro-organisms, carried out by the Tara Oceans researchers, that is used here by the artist, thanks to a good dose of intelligence, commitment, observation, and a zest of mischievous delicacy.  Manon Lanjouère surprises the eye and strikes the imagination with an inversion of reality, by reconstituting the shapes of the oceanic microbiome with plastic objects that are omnipresent in our daily lives.

A dramatic story told in a poetic way

Cotton buds, washed up by the millions on our beaches (and now banned from sale), turn into Asterionellopsis glacialis (Castracane), an intriguing creature with star-shaped cells. The drinking straws, a mortal danger for the fish that ingest them, include Tubularia indivisa (Great Tubularia), a plankton-feeding hydra. And the assembly of shower sieves is a close approximation of Emiliania huxley, a unicellular alga that the artist has also fashioned in 3D. Manon Lanjouère's talent is to use the artistic gesture as an instrument to raise awareness of the most serious social issues, without the intention weighing the work down, and by using science as an evocative base... Isn't telling a dramatic story in a poetic way the hallmark of art?

Residency on board schooner Tara

After a month on board the scientific schooner Tara between Salvador and Rio de Janeiro to observe research on microbiomes, my year 2022 has been occupied with the realization of my project entitled Les Particules which proposes to shed light on the plastic pollution of the ocean and its impact on microorganisms.

click here to listen the podcast on my experience on board ︎ (french)