As part of the 4th edition of Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie, Jean-François Lamoureux and Mathilde Fournier-Hébert (Montreal, Québec) will be transforming buildings into pinhole cameras from August 1 to 14 – in order to photograph the public.
Citizens of the Gaspé as well as tourists are invited to be preserved for posterity by these artists at the Marsoui (9, Rte 132 W) from August 1 to 3, at the Banc-de-Pêche-de-Paspébiac historical site in Paspébiac from August 8 to 10, and at the Saint-Laurent-de-Matapédia church in Matapedia on August 12 to 14.
The pinhole camera is a device invented in the nineteenth century and requires a large-size box, used both to take pictures with an aperture and as a darkroom. In their project, Jean-François Lamoureux and Mathilde Fournier-Hébert have chosen to use buildings as that box, by plunging them into darkness. Those wishing to have their picture taken will remain outside the buildings, which will be equipped with an opening to take their photo. “Our project proposal grows out of our thinking about photographic practice and use of the image,” according to the two artists. ‘‘For this residency our hope is to re-create a space-time where the photographic act is connected to the subject not as a witness but as an event in itself.” The duo is looking to immerse themselves in sites where they will stop and draw inspiration from the environment, its possibilities and its encounters.
Use of the pinhole camera, the artists explain, means that the images created will grow much closer to the notion of perception than to an objective form of the real. Those images, traces of the experience lived, of the time that has gone by, will provide room for chance and for photographic poetry. Where landscapes, portraits and journey fragments rub shoulders, the device’s work will become a bearer and creator of memories.
“If we wish to use such an apparatus,” the duo explains, “the reason is quite simply that we can take the time to really look, to stop and share the photographic act. To begin again in a place where photography is not proof of an action or an event, but is that event, that action.”
The vernissage of the photographs resulting from this area creation residency will take place on Thursday, August 15, at 8 p.m. at the Saint-Laurent-de-Matapédia church in Matapedia. The works will be on display there until September 11. In addition, other photographs by the artists will be on view outside the church throughout the summer.
A reminder that Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie is an invitation to come meet these artists in a region where the photograph and the landscape connect around an artistic project.