Mission: An annual summertime event, Rencontres introduces the public to contemporary photographic creation and its topicality through occupation of a particular territory: the Gaspé Peninsula. There it presents a series of exhibitions and installations, public events conceived as a space for reflection and initiation, and a program of artist residencies and of exchanges with festivals in other countries.
On the moose’s potentially fatal unpredictability: theme of the 14th edition of Rencontres
It was the title of a text by French author Patrice Juiff, written during a residency in the Gaspé Peninsula in fall 2022, that inspired this year’s theme. “When I read the text, which Patrice describes as a sort of literary road trip, a narration of mental roaming in the Gaspé with the aim of getting to know people, the territory and the beauty and fragility of the landscape, I wanted to draw inspiration from his encounters and his story in imagining the programming,” explains Claude Goulet, executive and artistic director of Rencontres “Very quickly, Patrice agreed to lend us his words.”
Read the article about the theme
A first photographic mission involving contact with a territory and its population titled Parcours du point de vue was created in the Gaspé in June 2009. This consisted of ten installations spread out over the territory, the result of the residencies of five guest artists. It was against this backdrop that Rencontres was launched in 2010.
Over the years we have taken important steps and concluded agreements so that our event become part of an enormous network dedicated to the visual arts, further to the objective of offering artists new platforms for creation and dissemination. We seek to support contemporary creation and to forge lasting bonds with visitors. The development of an audience and the circulation of works are at the heart of our actions.
Each edition of Rencontres is the opportunity to address different artistic approaches by way of activities such as artist residencies, get-togethers with the public, and school-based undertakings. Our contribution to the development of the discipline is confirmed at the panels and discussion forums that we organize between artists and the public.
Our 2nd edition resulted in a highly positive balance sheet, with figures to support it. According to the Étude d’achalandage, de provenance et de retombées économiques (Study of Patronage, Origin and Economic Repercussions) conducted by SEGMA Recherche, the 2011 edition attracted 113,062 visits to photographic exhibits and installations in the 13 host municipalities, generating total direct expenditures of $9,668,456 in the Gaspé. In 2015, Rencontres received visits from over 70,000 people to the exhibitions as a whole, for a total of 210,000 exhibit visits. Since then, our audience has steadily increased!