Théâtre de la Vieille Forge | 4 Rue de la Longue Pointe | Petite-Vallée
Claudia Imbert, Montreuil, France | phom.fr/claudia-imbert
With a background in the movies, Claudia Imbert blends film and photography. The two media complement each other and illuminate her personal research.
Whether her interest touches on water polo players or her suburban neighbors, there is always photo time, and then film time, and they form a whole. She has a passion for her contemporaries at the heart of their space, and makes use of staging – “the path of artifice is a way of capturing the right moment.” The recipient of a number of awards (Prix Lucien Hervé et Rodolf Hervé, Prix Arcimboldo, Prix Jeune Création), her work finds expression in various forms, as part of exhibitions, projections or multiscreen installations. This year, in residence in Québec, she is developing an original work of photographic portraits in Petite-Vallée with the idea of publishing a book with Québec writer Éric Plamondon.
EXHIBIT AT RENCONTRES
“Following a residency on Gaspé territory, I headed towards the north shore of the peninsula. “Wilder,” I was told. “Boy, will you meet some characters there!” I didn’t photograph the characters in question, but they were my secret guides. They welcomed me with all their heart and introduced me to the community. Which is how I ended up in Petite-Vallée.
“But how do you describe a place that’s both powerful and puzzling?
I looked for a downtown and didn’t find any.
I looked for passers-by, but they never seemed to leave their cars.
And every day I found myself faced with different weather:
fog, sun, wind, rain, grey, sun, cold, very cold, warm, blue, storm.
“I was collecting portraits of houses, like a little girl who keeps drawing the same thing until it’s perfect. Then portrait sessions with the characters allowed me to go further. Those moments of balance where you look for yourself, take a picture and no one is photographed, whatever the scene. Everything is possible; intuition alone, a longing have brought us together here and now.
“In effect, it was a way of taking its pulse; its own heart slowed either because unaffected by time or at “the end of the land,”* Petite-Vallée gives off a mild fragrance of strangeness.”
Claudia Imbert, August 2015
*Gespeg means “end of the land” in Micmac.