Tchernobyl Herbarium, Fragment d'une conscience en éclat,

Michael Marder et Anaïs Tondeur

Trente ans après Tchernobyl, en visitant l'exposition Dessiner l'Invisible, le philosophe Michael Marder fait face aux oeuvres d’Anaïs Tondeur. L’artiste a créé des rayogrammes à partir de plantes qui poussèrent dans la terre irradiée de la Zone d’Exclusion. Enfant, le philosophe fut exposé à ces même radiations, alors qu’il tentait de soigner ses allergies, au sanatorium d’Anapa, au bord de la Mer noire. Ce livre, composé de trente fragments, est à la fois un parcours intime, une commémoration, une oeuvre graphique, et une pensée de l’impensable, à l’écoute des plantes.

“Le plus grand risque est que nous continuions comme si Tchernobyl n’avait jamais eu lieu.”


Ce livre est une traduction de la publication née de la rencontre entre Michael Marder et Anaïs Tondeur pendant l'exposition Dessiner L'Invisible et qui fut éditée par Open Humanity Press.
  • Print ISBN: 978-1-78542-026-9
  • PDF ISBN: 978-1-78542-027-6

Pour Télécharger l'ouvrage sur le site de Open HUMANITY Press

We entrust readers with thirty fragments of reflections, meditations, recollections, and images — one for each year that has passed since the explosion that rocked and destroyed a part of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in April 1986. The aesthetic visions, thoughts, and experiences that have made their way into this book hover in a grey region between the singular and self-enclosed, on the one hand, and the generally applicable and universal, on the other. Through words and images, we wish to contribute our humble share to a collaborative grappling with the event of Chernobyl. Unthinkable and unrepresentable as it is, we insist on the need to reflect upon, signify, and symbolize it, taking stock of the consciousness it fragmented and, perhaps, cultivating another, more environmentally attuned way of living.

“In this beautiful book, Michael Marder and Anaïs Tondeur reflect deeply on the hyperobject that is the nuclear radiation from Chernobyl through the device of the herbarium, miniature ecosystems that botanists used in the Victorian period. Under the fragile traveling glass of paper and pixels, Marder and Tondeur host tendrils of prose and cellulose. It’s a stroke of genius to have miniaturized something so vast and demonic—we don’t even know how to dream any of this yet (it’s called ecological awareness), and as Marder observes here, just upgrading our aesthetics to cope with the trauma of this awareness is a key unfinished project.”
Timothy Morton, Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, Rice University – author of Realist Magic.

“Michael Marder is a rare philosopher who can write alongside an artwork. Perhaps it is his experience of suffering radiation in the sea side town of Anapa in 1986 that acts as fulcrum for his poetic fragments accompanying the plant photograms (light-writing) of French artist Anaïs Tondeur. This book is part personal essay, part history, part post-modern fragment and part lament for the tragic victims of Chernobyl. The sorrowful voice of the plant philosopher dovetails with the generative hope of Tondeur’s plant photographs that rise up from the ashes of the Chernobyl disaster. As Marder says, Tondeur’s herbarium is a steady glow, where the plants are left to speak by spatially expressing themselves out of the radioactive earth.”
Prudence Gibson – author of Janet Laurence: The Pharmacy of Plants

Author Bios

Michael Marder is IKERBASQUE Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. An author of seven books and over 100 articles, he is a specialist in phenomenology, political thought, and environmental philosophy. His most recent monographs include The Philosopher’s Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium (2014), Pyropolitics: When the World Is Ablaze (2015), and Dust (2016). He is now completing a book, co-authored with Luce Irigaray and titled Through Vegetal Being. For more information on his work consult his webpage

Anaïs Tondeur is a visual artist. She works and lives in Paris. She has been commissioned to work as an artist in residence with the scientists from the Natural History Museum as well as Pierre and Marie Curie University, Sorbonne, Paris in 2015 and at the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, Paris in 2015, Hydrodynamics Laboratory (LadHyx) at Ecole Polytechnique, National Centre for Scientific Research, France (2013-2015). She is currently undertaking a research on urban soils with anthropologists, geographers and ecologists as part of Chamarande’s lab curated by COAL (Coalition for Art and Sustainable Development). Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions shown nationally and internationally. GV Art, London represents Anaïs’s work. Anaïs graduated from a M.A. in Mixed-Media at the Royal College of Art in London in 2010 after completing a Bachelor (Hons) Textiles at Central Saint Martins College in London in 2008. See more of her work at