The book Empreintes… 10 ans de Rencontres (Footprints: 10 Years of Rencontres) was published today by Éditions Escuminac. The lavishly illustrated volume grew out of a desire to leave a tangible trace of ten years of compelling encounters, and to share the evolving adventure of Rencontres de la photographie en Gaspésie.
For the festival’s artistic director, Claude Goulet, who wrote the preface, “This is a great opportunity to promote the uniqueness of this visual-arts event: the close connection between the exhibiting artists, the public and the works themselves.”
Accounts by photographers who have participated in Rencontres over the years make up an important section of the publication. “Some twenty photographers from different backgrounds were selected according to specific criteria, such as artist residencies, production of a book and frequent participation,” explains publication director and author of the introduction Mona Hakim. “Their shared experiences are accompanied by their own works, mostly images created in situ. Works by photographers in residence and special projects are included as well.”
The book also features in-depth texts by specialized authors: Serge Allaire discusses the place of photographic books in the history of photography and the current interest in this particular form of expression; Alexis Desgagnés reflects on the role of Rencontres’ Photographic Missions, with a look back at the exhibition Acharné, acharné paysage (Tenacious, Tenacious Landscape), the first edition of the Missions that he oversaw; and André-Louis Paré offers detailed insight into the many photographic projects and themes unfurled on the Gaspé Peninsula over a remarkable decade.
In its first ten years, Rencontres de la photographie en Gaspésie developed international networks, acquired additional spaces for creative work, added artist residencies and special projects to its program, and established a publishing house. Never before has the word “rencontres” (encounters) enjoyed such resonance.
Empreintes…10 ans de Rencontres. Black-and-white and color photographs. Éditions Escuminac, 2020, 144 pages.
Available at Librairie Liber (New Richmond), at Librairie La Port de tête (Montreal) and on leslibraires.ca. Price: $20.
See the video introducing the book (direction: Émilie B.-Guérette)