ANTWERP.- The Antwerp-based art photographer, Wim Tellier, who shocked the world in 2006/07 with his project W-Wish - a 600 metres squared baby photo exhibited throughout the world - is currently engaged in preparing and even larger-scale project. The apotheosis is to be an installation covering some 3 hectares on Antarctica. Over the past few months, Wim Tellier has been busy photographing subjects on the six other continents of the globe in what is to form the basis for a gigantic carrousel of ideas.
The media attention surrounding Wim Tellier's 600 metres squared baby photo on a background of rubber ducks was enormous. The technique of integrating blow ups within a unique context has since become a trademark of this young photographer. PROTECT 7-7 continues in the same vein, though the concept and execution will this time be significantly more involved. In preparing the final artwork, six elderly people, one from each continent, were photographed lying down, naked except for their genitalia covered by feather and down. 700 children from each respective continent were also asked to make a coloured drawing on Plexiglas which they then held in front of Wim Tellier's lens. The photographs of the elderly figures were each enlarged to a surface area of 800 metres squared (20 x 40m) and superimposed on a collage of photographs of the children's drawings. These six blow ups will now form the basis of the largest ever art installation on the South Pole. Following subsequent exhibitions in Antwerp and New
York, the enormous blow ups will then be cut into 80 x 80cm pieces for individual sale. Original fragments of the six blow ups can already be reserved online at: http://www.protect77.com.
PROTECT 7-7 invites several different interpretations. Do the elderly leave the world a better, more beautiful, safer and healthier place? Or is their "weight" the burden future generations must bear? The specific installation of these "sun-bathing" figures on Antarctica also invokes the theme of global warming. Importantly, however, PROTECT 7-7 refuses to choose sides but rather shows all three points of the constellation - the Earth, our legacy and the future - in all their vulnerability. In the end, the beauty of the final result is often sufficient as a message for the viewer.