In response to the sad passing of my grandmother in February 2015 an in memoriam for a journey never taken or never intended to be taken by her, the work Pôle Nord from 2009 by Sophie Calle (1953). This wistful but beautiful work is about Calle’s own mother. The latter dreamt to go to the North Pole. However she knew that once the dream would be realised it often disappoints. Evidently she never undertook this journey. After her death Calle decided to make her mother’s dream come true, she took part in a trip to the North Pole and buried her in the icy structure, that is her memories. Personal objects as jewelry and a portrait were buried in the ice as part of a farewell ceremony. The complete journey is documented on film, several photographs and three plaques with texts. A bit theatrical to say the least, however it presents in a very poetic manner the farewell of a daughter to her mother and the realisation of a dream.
My grandmother wasn’t a traveller and will never become a traveller. Nevertheless in my dreams she will travel the world in search of the miraculous, perhaps by finding it in the icy atmosphere of the northern Hemisphere.
In loving memory of Gaby De Swert (1930-2015).