"On a zéro en histoire" 2021


How subjective is a map? How unilaterally is it measured and designed?

Representations of the world are drawn by the most powerful rulers of the day and reflect the state of the world at a specific moment in time. History is not a straight line.

Dobbels explores the history of the landscape from various different perspectives – political, geological, geographical, demographical and archaeological – and how its usage changes over time. What are the unique aspects that define a ‘place’ or ‘territory’?

‘On a zéro en histoire’ comes from the subtitles to a film about young Palestinians entitled ‘Route 181’ (Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel), 2004, a film by Eyal Sivan and Michel Khleifi. Dobbels used self-created wax crayons, made from locally sourced materials (beeswax and soot) which she then applies to ancient maps from Imperial times. The local materials allude to a respect for origins, the local and the need for tactility. 


"On a zéro en histoire.”(01)

2020, 46.3 x 38 cm, drawing on world map (Wolters School Atlas 1939), beeswax, soot


“On a zéro en histoire.”(02)

2020, 78 x 106 cm, drawing on folded world map (1914, published by Sparo, Rotterdam) , 24k gold leaf, acrylic


The tree depicted in gold leaf is as old as the 1914 world map. And the only witness to that time and to history.