Florence Iff

OIL-A History of
Location: Zurich
Nationality: Switzerland
Biography: I was born in Switzerland where I am currently living. Before spending four years in New York City where I absolved the fulltime program of ICP, I was educated as an artist. Subsequently I graduated as a teacher of fine arts. As I'm using... read on
Public Story
OIL-A History of
With climate change being the most urgent topic for mankind, I'm determined since 20 years to dedicate my creativity to help raise awareness to this possible doom.
As a further investigation into the subject of climate change and its implications, I decided to trace back at the origin of one of the major problems: oil.
Since plastic was the theme of my latest work, the ensuing research on oil was consistent. The history of oil begins with its formation in organic single-cell organisms.
Looking at the similarity of these monads and the newly developed bacteria living on plastic waste (see my work: Amalgamated Fragmentations–Plastisphere), I decided to close the circle with the project of a book, creating a visual history of the provenance, the exploitation, the processing and the products of oil with all the ensuing issues.
In the last couple of decades human beings are modifying and destroying nature by burning fossil material which synthesized during millions of years  and subsequently leading to the actual global warming.
Absolutely nothing that accompanies, surrounds or is consumed in our everyday life is not connected with oil in any way. Neither are political decisions, financial- and medical systems, food economy, demographic changes and globalized inequality.
Simultaneously, all man-made material deriving from oil accumulating on and in the earth, in water and air is bound to last for the next millions of years.
The OIL project was created during the Corona crisis and bears witness to this in various ways:  Bacteria created life on earth as well as crude oil and now are living from plastic residues, this as an analogy to the pandemic virus, a tiny little thing decisive for life and death. And as we now know, the disappearance of biodiversity and its livelihood is crucial to the appearance of pandemics.
My working method is a search for images on the Internet and in my archive, the flood of images an analogy to mass production, abundance and immoderation. The blue sky without contrails, which for the first time for millions of people to be seen has been inserted as chapter-spreads.
The work is divided into different themes, such as the production and exploitation of crude oil, wars dependent on it, all means of transport, the petrochemical-rich food chain, other derivatives and their consequences, the contamination of entire landscapes and groundwater, right down to plastic and its decomposition into microplastics, which in turn are crushed again by bacteria, but will never completely disappear.

The project is conceived as a book totalling about 150 images as well as a multimedia installation. Work in progress.


Also by Florence Iff —


Amalgamated Fragmentations / Plastisphere

By Florence Iff — In my long-term and multi-part project on the Anthropocene I examine fragmentation and how old and new..


By Florence Iff — On my search of traces of the Anthropocene I have created layered images by means of cyanotype-process. Old..

Gilgamesh Revisited

By Florence Iff — For this work I have reintegrated elements from my previous work 67P to further develop the subject of..

Amalgamated Fragmentation / Microbescapes

By Florence Iff — During my research on new types of molecules, microbes and bacteria living in the Anthropocene on inorganic..


By Florence Iff — This project is an investigation on light, time and space on the one hand within the subject of photography..


By Florence Iff — Due to health problems within my family including myself this work derives from a long- term engagement..

Me, Myself & I

By Florence Iff — This work symbolizes a psychological state of human existence. We like to think of ourselves as an entity,..


By Florence Iff — Back in 1998 I created a photographic series comprised of 20 female friends wearing the same red-haired..


By Florence Iff — I’m investigating visual fragmentation, by exploring the perception and mapping of spatiality. The viewer..


By Florence Iff — In the beginning of the photographic era people could mostly afford one single portrait of themselves,..

Here; Remote

By Florence Iff — I am interested in the remains of a historical past, which people still try to maintain by finding new ways..
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