National Geographic Atlas of the World

National Geographic Atlas of the World is a sanded World Atlas. The work challenges our understanding of what an Atlas is and interrogates the way we have chosen to represent the World on maps throughout history. Over the course of Roch-Cuerrier’s MA, she developed a research project around a 1981 National Geographic Atlas belonging to her family. She sanded off the surface of maps in the book to create ink made from the collected pigments, using the process of erasure to look back at a history and a tradition of printmaking. The Atlas is now a physical deconstruction of a printed object; the whole project questions the vulnerability of the printed image. The erased maps of the Atlas manifest as a verification of the opaque surface of the paper behind the printed page.

Julie Roch-Cuerrier, National Geographic Atlas of the World, 2013, sanded World Atlas, 47 x 62 cm, edition of 2 books

By rethinking traditional mapping processes and exploring the possibilities of transforming this Atlas into new entities, the artist seeks to question conventional ways of understanding time and space, in order to revisit our interactions with the world surrounding us. At the core of her practice lies an interest in processes of transformation: in the potential for ideas and concepts to migrate into a different state. In developing new works, she looks for ways to seek the very essence of things: distilling ideas in order to analyze the way we perceive them. Universal objects and symbols are transformed, further evolving into spectral objects

Julie Roch-Cuerrier, Installation view, Écologies/Ecologies, Galerie AVE, 2017
Julie Roch-Cuerrier, Installation view, Royal College of Art, 2014