The 14th Rencontres de la photographie en Gaspésie will be taking place this summer in 13 municipalities, towns and national parks on the peninsula, with the theme On the moose’s potentially fatal unpredictability. Presented for the most part outdoors, the exhibits and installations will showcase the work of 16 artists from Québec and abroad. The great majority of them will run from July 15 to September 30, 2023.
It was the title of a text by French author Patrice Juiff, written during a residency in the Gaspé in the fall of 2022, that inspired the theme for this year. “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.” Excerpts from Patrice Juiff’s text will incidentally be released on the occasion of Rencontres on Tour, in August 2023.
To see in the Côte-de-Gaspé RCM
On the Théâtre de la Vieille-Forge site in Petite-Vallée, the exhibition Burning by Marine Lécuyer (France) invites us to the vestiges of a world on fire, where humankind is confronted with its disappearance. In the town of Gaspé, near the Horacio LeBouthillier house (west of the other Birthplace of Canada buildings), NÛJEN, the Women Soldiers by Zaynê Akyol (Montreal, Québec) presents a series of photographs on the female-gender war against the Islamic State. And at Musée de la Gaspésie, from June 21 to September 30, the exhibit Heureux hasard (Lucky Accident) by Dolorès Marat (France) displays a series of photos imbued with elements of the dream.
To see in the Rocher-Percé RCM
In the Rocher-Percé RCM, the Charles-Robin historical sector in Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé national park, in the town of Percé, will host the exhibitions of two photographers from Italy. Ilaria Abbiento will be presenting Quaderno di un’isola (Notebook of an Island. This series is a poetic narrative that grew out of a residency of the artist’s on an island in Sardinia. The park will also host Deepland by Roselena Ramistella. In it, the artist, who traveled on the back of a mule on age-old paths in the mountains of Sicily, depicts the rural landscape and the life of communities.In Chandler, the park in front of Cantine du Chenail will be hosting I Have Been There by Chun Hua Catherine Dong (Montreal, Québec), bringing together images of her photo mission in Charlevoix. This project takes its place in a continuing performance by the artist as she explores belonging, diaspora and existence in public spaces. Finally, the exhibition A bloom in the eye of the storm, by Guillaume Tomasi (Montreal, Québec), will take place at the church L’Assomption-de-Notre-Dame, in Grande-Rivière. Through the gaze of the artist directed at his children, this exhibition focuses on the anxiety-producing conflict we are experiencing while we continue enjoying our daily routines in the context of climate change.
To see in the Bonaventure RCM
Sarah Boutin (Montreal, Québec) will be presenting on the boardwalk in Paspébiac the exhibit La prière a sa place parmi la mélisse, le thym, le feu, la baignoire, le lit, l’hôpital (Prayer has its place amid the lemon balm, thyme, fire, bathtub, hospital). The artist, who suffered the loss of her grandmother, documents her day-to-day life in images as she endeavors to learn to deal with the absence. Near near the tidal lagoon on the site of the Musée acadien du Québec, located in Bonaventure, Louis Perreault (Montreal, Québec) will be exhibiting Les affluents (Tributaries), a photographic project that gathers together a succession of images on the themes of family, nature and the continuous cycles that animate them. In New Richmond, Taylor’s Point Park will be hosting Carcasse by Normand Rajotte (Montreal, Québec). This series features images captured by surveillance cameras at the foot of Mont Mégantic, showing an immemorial cycle of animal life where the death of some allows others to exist.
To see in the Avignon RCM
Maria will host the exhibit Freddy and Ceydie by Cince Johnston (Sainte-Pétronille, Québec). This project documents the lives of two Belgian natives – one of them Ceydie, the photographer’s daughter – ten years after receiving a liver transplant following the death of a man in Croatia.
Three exhibitions will be taking place in Carleton-sur-Mer. On the quay, the series Shikawatari (Deer Crossing) by Chieko Shiraishi (Japan) is composed of images of a herd of deer in the winter landscapes of northern Japan, on the island of Hokkaido. The Vaste et Vague artist center will meanwhile be welcoming, from July 25 to August 31, 2023, Le chant des caresses (The Song of Caresses) by Lara Gasparotto (Belgium), a series of images that intermixes the human and nature in all its forms, and brings out the beauty at the heart of fog. Finally, the Gabrielle-Bernard-Dubé library will welcome, from August 15 to September 15, 2023, an exhibit consisting of photographic books by artists taking part in the 14th edition of the event, as well as works published to this point by Éditions Escuminac, the publishing house of Rencontres.
Miguasha National Park, in Nouvelle, will host The Last Floor by Sami Blais (Québec City, Québec) outside the former visitor center. This project features Ulric and Ghitta Lejeune, a couple who left Europe after a bankruptcy and who have remade their life in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. The Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site in Pointe-à-la-Croix will be presenting RÁPIDO REM by Miguel Leache (Spain). To carry out this series, which shows dozing passengers on the Tokyo subway system, the artist delved into the cultural, economic and biological reasons that lead them towards sleep.
Finally, the exhibition Valle (Valley) by Cristian Ordóñez, a Chilean artist living in Toronto, Ontario, will be presented at the Deux-Rivières Lookout in Matapedia. Here the artist explores Chile’s Huasco Valley, focusing on its communities and attempting to understand the role played there by multinationals and their rationale of development.
Rencontres on Tour
From August 17 to 19, 2023, this unique event, at the heart of Rencontres, will bring together visitors, artists and the local population for encounters on the subject of creation: open-air projections, discussions with the artists, guided exhibit tours, and so on. The full program will be announced in early August 2023 on photogaspesie.ca, in the Events section. Four creation residencies are also planned in the Gaspé region following Rencontres on Tour.
Top image : Roselena Ramistella, Deepland
Article updated on July, 7, 2023.