Beyond the Forest
19/11/14 - 18/01/15

Closed from 24/12/14 to 6/01/15 included

In French


Marc Wendelski, from series Beyond the Forest, 2013-2014

Following the disaster of Fukushima, and under public opinion pressure, the German government decided in spring 2011 to maintain the program of phasing out nuclear power by the year 2022,
by focusing on a rapid development of renewable energy supplies but also on its own resources of fossil fuels, including lignite, found in abundance on its territory.

Germany is the world’s main producer of lignite, which is used as fuel in thermal power stations located close to the extraction sites.

The RWE group, one of the German energy giants, extracts about 100 millions of tons of lignite per year in three opencast mines in North Rhine-Westphalia, in order to supply fuel to run their six plants in the region.

The use of a low-efficiency fossil fuel such as lignite produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide and harmful fine particles into the atmosphere. Its extraction brings about considerable changes in the environment and the landscape: entire villages are expropriated, immense areas of agricultural or forest land are destroyed, and highways are diverted as the excavators advance and dig into the ground several hundred meters deep to reach the layers of lignite.

In the region of hambach in the 1970s, in the immediate vicinity of one of the biggest opencast mines in Europe, was a forest which stretched over more than 5000 hectares. this forest had remained intact for several thousands of years. Over the past decades the bulk of it has been swallowed up by the mining activity.

In May 2012, a group of militants built a camp in the Hambach forest in order to protest against the RWE group’s expansionary policy and to prevent the destruction of the last remaining hectares of the forest.

Facing the mine, right at the edge of the forest, shelters made out of wood, straw and clay were constructed. Platforms and wooden houses in the trees sheltered the activists for several months.
In november a massive forced eviction was organised by the authorities.
After four days of altercations between the militants and the police forces, the last activist was brought out from a tunnel in which he had barricaded himself, and the camp was destroyed. A few hours later, a new camp was set up a little further away in a field bordering the Hambach forest.
Since then, activists and supporters from all over Germany but also from other european countries have followed one another to the camp. Every day they are threatened with eviction.

Marc Wendelski accompanied them, blending a politically committed approach with aesthetic concerns, bearing witness to a struggle and arguing, intelligently and continuously, for a new ecology of images and a more thoughtful use of photography.

Translator: Chris Bourne

Marc Wendelski won the “Propositions d’artistes 2013” competition organised by L’Espace Photographique Contretype.

Marc Wendelski WebSite

Capture Video Wendelski

Marc Wendelski's video, on You Tube, by Morituri



Marc Wendelski, Beyond the Forest
Crisnée, Yellow Now Publisher, Collection: Côté photo.
Size: 16,5 x 21 cm - 160 pages – Four-color process.
Photographs: Marc Wendelski.
Texts (French, English, German): Werner Moron, Hervé Kempf.
ISBN 978-2-87340-360-7.
Price: 25,00 €.

Marc Wendelski °1978, in Verviers, Belgium
Lives and works in Liège (Belgium).


1993 – 1997 Académie des Beaux-Arts de Verviers.
1997 – 2000 Institut Supérieur des Arts St Luc, Liège.

Solo exhibitions :

La résistance de l’air / at "Les Brasseurs – art contemporain", Liège (B)

Dialogue / Nadar Gallery, Tourcoing (F)

Dust/ Fotomuseum Antwerpen (B)
Dialogue / at Mediathèque de Bailleul (F)

Nage Libre / Wégimont Gallery (B)
Traummaschine / Raum für Kunst, Aachen (D)

Nage Libre / Monos Art Gallery – Liège
Nage Libre / "Musée de la photographie" at Charleroi

Nage Libre / Les Yeux Gourmand – Bruxelles
SAS / Société Libre d’Emulation – Liège

Et le Bonheur ? / Biennale de photographie en Condroz

Plein Sud / l’Oeil nu Gallery – Liège

Group exhibitions :

Circulation(s) Festival, Paris
SPACE collection, Liège

"Jeune Création" Price, RAVI, Liège
« En Accord », Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la céramique, Verviers
« Bouteilles à la mer », Centre wallon d’Art contemporain – La Châtaigneraie, Flemalle

Or Blanc / Musée des Beaux-Arts, Verviers (B)
Comme des bêtes / Anversville Gallery, Antwerpen (B)

Paysages Fictionnels / Centre culturel Jacques Franck, Bruxelles.
Nage Libre / CCAM / Tourcoing (FR)
Point de vue / Frédéric Desimpel Gallery, Bruxelles
Émerveillements / "Les Brasseurs – L’annexe", Liège

Portfolio #2 / Recyclart, Bruxelles
Cube – from Belgium to China / Pekin

Summer Cube / Summer of Photography, Bruxelles
Purpose 8, L’Enfance / École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture from Paris La Villette in the frame of
« Mois de la Photo à Paris»
L’alibi documentaire / Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles – Paris
Corps de ville / Biennale de photographie et d’architecture – La Cambre (Bruxelles)
Quartiers d’hivers / Espace 251 Nord – Liège
(Les Belges) Coming Through the Trees / M2N Gallery, Paris
Deslocamentos / Fotoativa, Belém

Créaction – Intervité / MAMAC, Liège
ICARE / Musée de l’Art wallon, Liège
Quelques années plus tard / Institut Supérieur des Arts Saint-Luc, Liège

Aquisitions récentes de la Province de Liège / Centre d’Art contemporain "Les Brasseurs" , Liège
PhotOgraphie / Espace Duesberg, Verviers

Cazar lo natural / Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chili
Ouvert toute la nuit – Photomathon / Maison de la Culture Frontenac, Montréal

Chassez le naturel… / 4ème Biennale internationale de la Photographie et des Arts visuels – Liège

Le Paysage vu de profil / MAMAC, Liège
Fils de pub / Musée d’Art Différencié (MAD), Liège.
Rencontres internationales de la photographie de Arles.

Voyage / "Les Chiroux" Centre culturel de Liège


Leica Oskar Barnack Award (nominated)

"Propositions d’artistes", Contretype (laureate)
Prix de la jeune création de la Ville de Liège (2nd price)

Price Paule Pia – Fotomuseum Anwerpen (laureate)