Maria Chiara Tosi
Auditorium De Molen
Descombes reinvents a sense of place by describing what is there and what is no longer there. What has disappeared is, in fact, as important to evoke as as what is present. In one sense this is carried out by allusion, by introducing the thing itself to allude to a prior condition; the use of water is an example of this, recalling the pattern of drainage in this area. But Descombes' landscape evokes the sense of loss and disappearance most powerfully through a topographic sensibility. The surface of the land, inscribed with the history of its alteration, becomes the map and the historical record of this place. There is a sensuous materiality to the heightened presence of the terrain. Descombes describes it as a "sedimentary accumulation of traces." The aesthetic of revealing--"revealing imperceptible forces", as Descombes put it, sustains a tension between what is and what was; between what is present and what has been lost.