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Lara Almarcegui. Rio Tinto's wasteland in l'Estaque, Marseille

60 min visit

15 Oct → 16 Jan 2022
From Wednesday to Saturday from 12pm to 7pm. Sunday from 2pm to 6pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday

« Urban transition zones, Martian landscapes or beautiful Mediterranean deserts?  »

What interests Lara Almarcegui are abandoned sites, empty of all forms of life and forgotten by time. Yet they are not so far from civilisation, since they are generally located on the outskirts of large cities! Like a detective, the artist investigates these mysterious places that have managed to escape urbanism. The corpus of work presented here is from the Wastelands series (1999-...), which entered the Frac's collection in 2018. These photographs include portraits of wastelands, Martian and desert landscapes where the promise of urban development is not so far away. One of his projects is the Rio Tinto wasteland just outside the city of Marseille. The wastelands of Les Riaux and La Caudelette, located above the Lave port and extending to the Nerthe massif, are commonly called "ex-Rio Tinto". Since the end of the 19th century, this rocky site has been the site of all sorts of activities: quarrying, processing of aggregates, chemicals, etc. Since 2001, there has been nothing left, apart from a major clean-up project that is still going on today. This land is not a waste of time! Although development plans are being negotiated, we are still talking about one of the most important green areas in the Marseille region. Why do we want to urbanise it when nature has never been so healthy since the end of human activity? Lara Almarcegui tries to highlight these magnificent Mediterranean landscapes, abandoned by man but populated by wild flora and fauna. Her work in general questions the city and capitalist society by showing the beauty of what sometimes goes unnoticed.


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