Philippe Braquenier: Palimpsest
“Palimpsest” explores the makeup of the conceptual and physical landscape of Western cultural knowledge and heritage: how does contemporaneity assert itself from the penumbra of history? The primary task of the book is not so much to explain the past as it is to consider historical development and its visual expressions. Using photography and text as its means of investigation, the publication emerges from the intersections of science and culture, natural and man-made, analogue and digital, visible and hidden. On its pages, history and the present converge through these seeming polarities and propose a persuasive argument to refigure temporality.
Palimpsest is an ongoing project that began in 2012 and like any ‘living’ archive, it keeps growing constantly. Approaching the book as a work-in-progress, Braquenier debunks the publication, and the idea of history itself, as something imprisoned in the past, as inactive and immobile. The work illustrates how material history is constantly being altered and added on. It questions the methods mankind uses to preserve historical records — and knowledge overall.