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Dove Allouche


Cristallisation de la L-Alanine - Dove Allouche

  • Visual Arts
  • Houston

“I want to reveal things that are under our nose, things that are too close for comfort but that we look straight through in order to see something else. I want to capture the invisible in the overly visible.”

My work is mainly about undertaking a task which, once completed, may reveal something I hadn’t suspected. I am not trying to reveal things that have lain deeply buried and forgotten for hundreds or thousands of years, or to discover secrets that other people want to hide, nor am I trying to find hidden meanings in things or discourses. I am simply trying to reveal things that are present, yet invisible, in the now. My approach is like that of a far-sighted person. I want to reveal things that are under our nose, things that are too close for comfort but that we look straight through in order to see something else. I want to capture the invisible in the overly visible.

I had already explored the emergence of life a few years ago with a series of images of hydrothermal springs, called Black Smokers (in partnership with IFREMER). For my next series, Petrographs (in partnership with CNRS / CEA), I turned my attention to prehistoric sites and how to make photographs from stalagmite samples, particularly those taken from the site of the Chauvet cave. For my more recent series, Fungi (in partnership with CRCC / Museum of Natural History), I photographed the cultivation of spores from museum storerooms, to reveal fungal contaminations predating the museum collections themselves.

Following on from those series, I would now like to develop my research on the first pre-biotic molecules.

Born in 1972, Dove Allouche is a 1998 graduate of the ENSAPC (École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy) school of art and design. His recent solo and group exhibitions include “Visible/Invisible” at Château de Versailles; “Préhistoire, une énigme moderne” at Centre Pompidou in Paris; “Negative Capability” at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver; “Le Beau Danger” at Gallery Peter Freeman in New York; and “Mea culpa d’un sceptique” at Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in Paris.

Comets and meteorites have preserved the memory of the early days of our solar system. Scientists study comet and meteorite dust to gain an understanding of how the solar system formed and how its components have evolved.

The ultimate goal of this research is to understand the origin of life on Earth and, by implication, on other, similar planets. One of the current hypotheses is that fragments of comets or meteorites introduced molecules (amino acids, key components of ribonucleic acid – a possible ancestor of terrestrial DNA) that may have been the basis of a complex chemistry triggering the emergence of life.

The issue of the origin of life appeals directly to human emotions and subjectivity, and to our metaphysical preoccupations. Life did not come from life, but from the evolutionary development of inert matter. As an artist, I am keenly interested in these processes of transformation of matter, the way the simplest and most abundant molecules react to form complex molecules such as amino acids, and how this same matter could be used to create works of art embodying nothing but the experience of their coming into being.

The little town of Marfa, in the heart of the Texan desert, is known for the Judd Foundation and the Chinati Foundation, home to a remarkable collection of minimalist art. Its geographical location and proximity to the McDonald Observatory make it an ideal place for celestial observation and astrobiological research.

In addition to the possibility of other joint projects with the Biochemistry Department at the University of Texas at Austin, I plan to further my research by collecting samples (artificially-produced cometary organic residue, cometary dust particles collected on targets, thin sections of meteorites, etc.), and by manipulating crystallized essential amino acids (alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine) in a controlled lab environment.

In partnership with

Art Explora

The brainchild of entrepreneur and philanthropist Frédéric Jousset, the Art Explora Foundation, which launched in November 2019, aims to close the cultural divide through a series of initiatives in France and abroad, drawing on new technologies and mobile systems open to everyone. It seeks to connect works with their audiences and to support new creation and innovation. The Foundation is co-curating eight residencies for the inaugural season of Villa Albertine.  


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Beaux-Arts de Paris

Founded in 1817, the Beaux-Arts de Paris is both a publishing house and a center of artistic training, experimentation, exhibitions, and conservation of historical and contemporary collections. The Beaux-Arts de Paris trains high-level artists and is an essential part of the international contemporary art scene.


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