Creation residency in the Laurentians
The Centre d’exposition de Val-David and Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie invite professional Québec artists to submit a project proposal for the 2019 Photography Missions – Laurentians. The artist selected will carry out a photo assignment that documents one or more aspects of the contemporary Laurentian landscape.
The Photography Missions were initiated in the wake of a roundtable entitled The Québec Landscape: Political Assessment and Artistic Perspectives, which took place in Carleton-sur-Mer in August 2015.
Under the artistic direction of Alexis Desgagnés and in collaboration with Rencontres artistic director Claude Goulet, two Photography Missions took place in 2016 in the Gaspé Peninsula, the work of Jean-François Hamelin and Sara A. Tremblay. The exhibit Acharné, acharné paysage (Tenacious, Tenacious Landscape) subsequently presented these two projects involving photographic explorations of the Gaspé territory at the Vaste et Vague artist center in 2017 as part of the 8th Rencontres.
The call for proposals
In 2019, Rencontres is linking up with regional partners with a view to documenting the whole of the contemporary Québec landscape: “The project selected will constitute the second contribution to a long-term photo assignment that will cover, between now and 2022, and given the necessary financing, the entirety of the Québec landscape,” states the executive director and artistic director of Rencontres, Claude Goulet. “We also wish to establish a national photo archive collection devoted to the Québec landscape.”
How do things stand with the contemporary Québec landscape?
What role can photography play?
“The Québec landscape plays a fundamental role in our culture, within our collective imaginings, in addition to constituting, literally, empirically, the very framework – the physical, geomorphic framework – of the social, political and economic reality of contemporary Québec. Under the influence of factors that are natural (erosion, disasters, the “fury of the gods”) or human (ranging from the gardener’s humble intervention to the organized vandalism of industry), the Québec landscape is changing. Before our all-too-often powerless eyes.
“As we head into the 21st century, waiting for the dawn, it has to be noted that exploration and exploitation of the territory of Québec have arrived at this turning point – crucial, capital – where the last wild rivers of Québec are now dammed, where the Saint Lawrence and our forests are slowly being sacrificed in the interests of profit, and where the cold no longer succeeds in discouraging settlement of the remotest parts of the landscape we inhabit. As a result, is it not a matter of urgency for Québec society to ask itself what the score is with the landscape it inhabits, in the face of everything?” 
Professional Québec artists are invited to propose an original photo project that will explore these questions. Proposals will be evaluated by a committee of peers made up of artists and players in the community of current Québec photography. The proposal selected will be the one that best demonstrates fundamental and necessary thinking with respect to an aspect (social, political, economic, esthetic…) of the contemporary Laurentian landscape and translated into the language of photography. The primary selection criterion will be the relevance of the projects proposed with regard to the issue stated in the call for projects, on the one hand, and on the other their inclusion in the field of current photography.
Conditions for entry
The Photography Mission is intended exclusively for Québec artists. It must be carried out between June 25, 2019, and October 31, 2019, in the Laurentians. The results of this mission will be presented at the Centre d’exposition de Val-David during the summer of 2020. Rencontres would also like to exhibit one or two pictures at its 2020 edition as a way of promoting the mission.
Artists interested in submitting a project must send in their application by May 30, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. (Québec time).
Your application must contain the following:
- a description of the project proposed as part of the Missions
- an artist statement, maximum 300 words
- 10 pictures of recent work clearly expressing your project (compatible jpg files, Mac RGB, 1024 x 768 pixels at 72 ppi)
- an artist resume
Please send your proposal in a compressed.zip folder or via WeTransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The artist selected will be advised of the jury’s decision no later than June 15, 2019.
The photographer selected will receive:
- A lump sum for meal and accommodation expenses; an amount reserved for travel expenses;
- A fee of $4,000 (terms of payment will be discussed with the artist when the agreement is signed).
Should you have any questions concerning the call for projects, please communicate by email with Manon Régimbald at email@example.com or with Claude Goulet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Text by Alexis Desgagnés