X(rays) Penone or the limits of technology, 2012

Italian artist Giuseppe Penone 'dissects' trees since 1969 (Ripetere il bosco, 'Repeating the forest', Cedro di Versailles, 'Cedar tree of Versailles'). He proceeds by removing layer after layer the old age circles until recovering the way the tree looked liked when it was still a shrub.
It is pretty much like the exhibition of some archeoligical fragment unlocking another era of life ; a fossilized duplication of itself within its own self ; a film played backwards.
Penone comes to this anthropomorphic allegory of a skinned tree by working on actual dimensions. Making the craftsman's gear his own, he chiselled and tirelessly shaves the matter. Weeks, sometimes months are required for this time rewind.
I despise hospitals and more broadly everything prone to last my hypochondria, even though it so happened I and my workshop roamed in those sectors for two years. Looking for new ways to create, my researches brought me to exploit new medicinal technologies' artistic potential.
As part of my lab experiments, I did not resist the temptation to scan simple pieces of wood, whether refined or not.
By opening a window in the tree, the X-ray revealed the heart so we could see the living and fragile shrubbery within the inert mass like an eternal and waste spine.
Having found the original tree's track at a defined age of life, indicating a primal state of matter, the scanner has therefore granted modern science's wish by acting as a time machine for just a digital instant.
Thus has technology led me to the same results as Penone in just few minutes
Thus has technology spared me a slow and ungrateful shaving.
Thus has technology exposed its limits.
To be convinced of this fact, we only have to compare my production and Penone's.
Beside the inexorable poetry of his trees dissected like matryoshkas, my glossy prints looks trivial.
Beside the tactile and sensual attractiveness of his exposed wood hearts, my scanner exposes gastroenterological services' sane coldness.
Beside the material and esthetic timelessness of his skinned trees, my digital essay already looks old, of a soon old-fashioned technology.

X(rays) Penone or the limits of technology, featured in Corps en images, 'Pictured bodies', 2013.
(Presses universitaires de Nancy – Editions universitaires de Lorraine, ISBN : 978-2-8143-0150-4)
Thanks to the Bourgoin-Jailleau hospital and to Nicolas Escot and the scanography team in particular.