Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie. Traces of the Chaos — Érika Nimis

[Winter 2019]

By Érika Nimis

Every summer since 2010, Les Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie has literally pushed art photography into parks and forests and onto beaches, inviting visitors to a true treasure hunt along the legendary Route 132. During each edition, this photographic and human adventure is punctuated by a number of public events: screenings, discussions with the artists, book launches – all in a friendly, intimate atmosphere that encourages conversation, unlike the “high masses” of photography.

In an updated setting,1 the ninth edition of the event,2 with the theme of chaos, presented fifteen exhibitions, five of which resulted from art residencies initiated by Les Rencontres. Providing a counterweight to shocking photojournalistic images, the coherent selection for this year explored the traces of chaos that mark territories shaped by both the convulsions of history and the backwaters of capitalism.

In Quebec, this chaos, often experienced as subterranean, haunts northern Indigenous territories. Director Éli Laliberté travelled through these areas, shooting a “video road trip” to be used in a play, Philippe Ducros’s La Cartomancie du territoire, presented in Montreal in spring 2018. A public reading of an excerpt of the “hardline” play took place in Carleton-sur-Mer on the evening of August 17, accompanying Laliberté’s images of the damage done to these lands. On the same subject, Elena Perlino used a humanist documentary approach to highlight the resiliency of the Innu and Naskapi, to whom she paid homage in a photographic series accompanied by a video shot over the shoulder, Indian Time; these works were presented first in Gaspé, and then in Matimekush-Lac John and Montreal as part of the satellite programming.
Translated by Käthe Roth

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1 This year, Les Rencontres experimented with new forms of outdoor presentation, in the form of steles or, more often, boxes, illuminated or not, and hosted in residence a duo of Montreal designers whose mandate was to design a mobile exhibition pavilion that will be inaugurated during the tenth anniversary of the festival, in summer 2019.
2 The event was held from July 15 to September 30, 2018.

* Editor’s note:
Please note that the captions of the images of works by François Quévillon and Fiona Annis on pages 62 and 63 were inverted. We apologize for this error.

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