by Francine Paul
Waters lands suns clouds
And then all this fundamental freezing
Ice and icebergs
Floes and turrets
Chorbacks and ropaks
That the ancient Empedocles
never spoke of
Foulanges and snows
Over there all over there1
— Jean Désy, Petite suite de poèmes nordiques
Whereas Jean Désy’s poem echoes Nordic beauty by choosing the inventive vocabulary of the North and its ice forged by geographer Louis-Edmond Hamelin,2 Alain Lefort’s recent landscapes create sensitive and personal representations of it. With the photographs in his recent series Eidôlon and Sans titre (Eidôlon), Lefort attentively observes the multiple layers of the mystery of “over there all over there.”
Photographic Projects. Since 2010, Lefort’s photographic series have evidenced his desire to go to increasingly remote regions alone to photograph natural phenomena; most recently, he has been intrigued by icebergs, huge in both dimensions and appeal. Like many of us, his imagination may be fed by accounts of the voyages of the great Arctic explorers Roald Amundsen, Robert Peary, Frederick Cook, and Sir John Franklin. Literature, including the writings of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville, is another source of inspiration for Lefort, as Sylvain Campeau and James D. Campbell point out in their monograph devoted to him.3
2 Daniel Chartier and Jean Désy, La nordicité du Québec – Entretiens avec Louis-Edmond Hamelin (Quebec City: Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2014).
3 Sylvain Campeau and James D. Campbell, Alain Lefort (Longueuil: Éditions Plein sud, 2016).
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