Inside Out in Antarctica

In 2014, I led a nine-person expedition to the Antarctic Ocean. Each member offered a range of life experiences, having worked as top professionals, explorers, mountaineers, soldiers, mariners and scientists, all with a common goal: to make our fellow humans interested in these parts of the world and its history, and aware of the effects of climate change in this region. Even though JR had crisscrossed the planet before, he had never been to this part of the world.

A longtime friend, JR is a street photographer and artist who often uses his talent and notoriety to promote great social or artistic causes. So it was only natural for me to ask him to design an ephemeral artwork that would serve as a reminder that these parts of the world are fragile and endangered. The artwork shows our team of nine explorers, intertwined with seven children representing each continent.

As part of this JR/Inside-Out project, we transformed a beach into an art gallery. We had just spent the night at Prince Olav Bay, our last stop in South Georgia, before leaving for the Falklands.

It took us a few hours to prepare for a photo that we almost failed to deliver. While Zoe was further away on a snowfield to collect virgin snow samples, Bertrand and I were waiting for the wind to calm down and the rain to stop. We finally climbed a hill at the very end of the bay and arranged our precut portraits to form this giant Face-book poster.

Beside the seals, who are probably still wondering who we were, the artwork continues to be seen around the world through our book and movie “The Pursuit of Endurance”. It is a living symbol of connected worlds, from art to environment, from France to Antarctica, all of them facing the global changes.

 

With Bertrand Delapierre, film director of our documentary “The Pursuit of Endurance – On the shoulders of Shackleton”

With Bertrand Delapierre, film director of our documentary “The Pursuit of Endurance – On the shoulders of Shackleton”

JR’s artwork on the rocky slope, watched by an admiring fur seal.

JR’s artwork on the rocky slope, watched by an admiring fur seal.