Centre SAGAMIE (Alma) and Rencontres de la photographie en Gaspésie, in collaboration with Loto-Québec, announce the selection of Josée Pedneault (Montreal, Québec) to carry out a photographic mission that will document the landscape of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean in 2022-2023. The results of her research will be presented at Centre SAGAMIE in 2023 and then at Rencontres de la photographie en Gaspésie in 2024.
A Montreal-based visual artist, Josée Pedneault works on the basis of photographic images. She examines, in her artistic practice, our relationship to the world and endeavors to highlight the delicate threads that unites living things. For the photo assignment in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, she wants to explore the landscape based on a popular activity in the region: picking wild berries, the season for which begins in late June and comes to a close in September. In the framework of her photographic project Talle, she will be interested more particularly in native species such as wild strawberries, wild blueberries, hazelnuts and raspberries. “Talles are places where certain berries grow in abundance,” the artist explains. “They’re secret spots, often jealously guarded, whose precise location people are reluctant to reveal. The project Talle sets off to meet these interior landscapes by way of the amateur pickers who agree to have me follow in their footsteps.”
The artist would like to follow the pickers in their search over the summer. “I hope to cover different places starting from Lac-Saint-Jean and up to the Saguenay Fjord,” she explains. “Gathering wild berries as an entry point to the landscape is a way of accessing unexpected wild spaces – forest, undergrowth, clearings, hillsides – far from roads and possible pollutants.”
Having grown up in Dolbeau and then in Jonquière, Josée Pedneault stresses that the landscapes of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean form the foundation of her visual lexicon and constitute the underpinnings of her relationship with nature. “Coniferous forests, fields, lakes and rivers are the setting for my childhood games and continue to be places of projection that awaken my imaginings. Picking wild berries evokes for me a sort of utopia, the discovery of hidden sites, and the hope for a copious harvest, although the last of these is above all influenced by individual resistance to various physical and environmental factors.”
Josée Pedneault’s work has notably been exhibited at Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), at CONTACT Gallery (Toronto), at Museo del Chopo (Mexico) and at Fonderie Darling (Montreal). The recipient of grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec as well as the Canada Council for the Arts, she has done a series of artist residencies in Berlin, Tokyo, Glasgow and Mexico City, among other places, and that mobility continues to influence her artistic research. She also creates public-art projects integrated into architecture. Her photobook Contre-jour, the result of a residency in Japan and published by Free Poney Press in Amsterdam, will be released in September. The holder of master’s degree in visual arts from Concordia University, she teaches at Concordia University and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Image : Josée Pedneault