Benera and Estefan
Proxy Climates, 2019 - ongoing
installation (pollen grains, bio resin, sand), variable dimensions

Since 2019 Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan have been collecting pollen grains from dry land regions in the process of desertification, where vegetation is slowly vanishing, starting with the Oltenian Sahara in Southern Romania, and then, extending their research on other regions across Europe, such as Italy, Spain, Serbia, Greece.

Pollen is proxy data. Since pollen grains rarely rot, they are well preserved in the sediment layers. An examination of the pollen grains, in each layer of soil, can tell what types of plants were growing when the sediment was deposited. Interpretations can then be made about the climate, based on the types of plants found in each layer of soil.

The project aims to preserve the plant's genetic material and memory of disappearing flora, while also serving as possible scientific material for future paleoclimatic studies.

photos by David Biro

                                                                                                                                           The Sahara of Romania
                                                                                                                                           Dabuleni village, 2018

Paleoclimatology relies on proxy records like ice core, 
deep-sea drilling, or pollen samples,
to reconstruct past climates, from decades to millions of years.

Pollen grains are nature’s record-keepers.