Bertrand Carrière, Longueuil (Québec) | bertrandcarriere.com
Over the last 35 years, Bertrand Carrière has woven a photographic body of work both personal and varied.
His research focuses on two areas. First there is the documentary path that leads to landscapes, vast and intimate, and to portraits. His interest is in memory and in the history of places. From that research come images that endeavor to lend a voice to voiceless things, to things that are disappearing. Then there is another approach, more intimate, characterized by a daily practice and a readiness of the eye to glimpse the irregularities of the visible. Here he explores reality for all its autobiographical resonance.
Born in Ottawa in 1957, Bertrand Carrière lives and works in Longueuil. He teaches photography at CÉGEP André-Laurendeau in Montréal. He is the recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and his work has been exhibited in Québec, elsewhere in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Russia and China.
He is represented in Montreal by Galerie Simon Blais and in Toronto by the Stephen Bulger Gallery; his work is distributed by Agence VU’ in Paris. It features in numerous public and private collections, including that of Cirque du Soleil, Alcan, the Canada Council Art Bank, Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Cinémathèque Québécoise, the Loto-Québec collection, the National Gallery of Canada, Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts in Texas.
Bertrand Carrière’s work is also widely available in book form. He has published Témoin de l’ombre: photographies de tournage (1995), Voyage à domicile (1997), Signes de jour (2002), Hivers (2003) and Dieppe: Landscapes and Installations (2006). In 2010 Lieux mêmes appeared with Éditions L’Instant même, while Ground Level was published by Centre Sagamie. In 2011 the Musée régional de Rimouski brought out his project Après Strand. The same year, Bertrand Carrière published, with philosopher Georges Leroux, Wanderer, essai sur le Voyage d’hiver de Franz Schubert with Éditions Nota bene, which won a Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction.
In 2004, he directed 913, a documentary film about the memory of the raid on Dieppe. In 2005 he received the Prix de la création en région from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for Montérégie.
EXHIBIT a rencontres
The project After Strand takes as its starting point American photographer Paul Strand’s work in the Gaspé in 1929 and 1936. During those two trips, Strand passed the summer in the territory, making a tour of the peninsula with his wife. His picture-taking was motivated by the desire to work on vaster spaces than he was used to dealing with. In these great spaces he searched for a form of unity involving all the elements that went into them, from the foreground to the background and even in the quality of the clouds in the skies that he photographed.
“I traveled around the Gaspé for a number of weeks, covering the whole peninsula, looking for the places where Paul Strand had photographed. And when I found some of those spots, I let myself be inspired, somewhat freely, by the spirit of Strand’s images.
“The Gaspé trip in 1929 was Strand’s first attempt to interpret ‘the essential character’ of a place and its inhabitants. It was also his first attempt at landscapes and at establishing visual relationships capable of uniting sky and earth in his pictures. He would return to the Gaspé to produce a second series of images in 1936, and do portraits.
“Primarily landscapes and architectural views, my pictures also include portraits. The photos were taken in color in order to clearly mark a distance between the two bodies of work and to remain faithful to my own approach. In continuity with Strand’s thinking, I wanted to offer my vision of the essential character of what the Gaspé is today.”