Born in 1971, Grégoire Eloy has been documentary photographer since 2003. For 10 years, he travelled in Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries for his long-term projects on the Soviet legacy and the wars in South Caucasus, such as Les Oubliés du Pipeline (2006) and Ressac (2008 – 2013). In 2010, he collaborated with the scientific community on a trilogy on the science of matter, which has been a subject of a series of monographic books including A Black Matter (Journal 2012) and The Fault (RVB Books, 2017). The latest instalment, on glaciology, is in progress. Since 2015, he has been interested in our relationship to environment and wild during immersive residences in the wild (Guernsey Photography Festival 2018 and Tbilisi Photo Festival 2020 residence). Grégorie Eloy was awarded the Bourse du Talent Reportage in 2004. In June 2021, he was awarded the famous Prix Nièpce Gens d’images. He has been a member of the Tendance Floue collective since 2016.
He lives in Paris.
THEME(S) : Material and glaciology sciences
Study of a glacier, scales and way of representation
The melting of the ice-cap is ineluctable, it’s a fact. In the Pyrenees, even more than somewhere else, nothing could stop or reverse tendency. Glaciers are going to disapear. What it is less, lost, it’s the fascinating power glaciers exert an hold on us. In front of them, we are feeling strange, mixed of fear, wonder and of initmacy. They seem to tell us something about us, of ours origins like a distorting miror. Glaciologist guide their falling until the moment when they will pull beacons and instruments out and will turn to other mountains, higher, probably more protected.
The Ossoue glacier, one of the main glacier of Pyrenees, is not an exception. Its disappearance is planed for the middle of the Century. Set to 3 000 meters high between Vignemale massif’s summits, geological curiosity surronded by vertigineous parapets above Spain, this ice-cap attracts and fascinates explorers, photographers, writers since Pyreneism, meditative and sensitive practice of mountaineering, was invented.
I wanted to honor the glacier which soon will disappear by adopting a galciologist approach. I dove into the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse’s records to put myself into the steps of Eugène Trutat, pyreneist, moutain photography pionner who realised the first pictures of the glacier in 19th Century.
I went with Pierre René and the volunters of the Association de Glaciologie Moraine, to take mesures of the évolution of the ice-cap ; I followed Simon Gascoin, researcher for the CNRS, nivologist at the CESBIO/OMP -Centre for the Study of the Biosphere from Space/Observatory Midi-Pyrénées(CNRS/UPS/CNES/IRD) and Etienne Berthier, researcher for the CNRS, glaciologist at LEGOS/OMP – Geophysic and spatial oceanography laboratory Study/Observatory Midi-Pyrénées (CNRS/UPS/CNES/IRD) specialised in stereoscopics satellites pictures treatment.
Eugène Trutat, Pierre René, Simon Gascoin, Etienne Berthier would not have saved the glacier but they would have taken care of it, they would have known it.