Learning photography from books
An Interview by Serge Allaire
Over the last forty years, Bertrand Carrière has produced a personal and varied body of photographic work. His photographs have been exhibited in Quebec, Canada, Europe, and China, and he is represented by Galerie Simon Blain Montreal and the Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto. He has taught photography at the Université de Sherbrooke and received grants from arts councils in Canada, Quebec, and Longueuil. He has published several books, including Le Capteur (éditions du Renard, 2015). In 2020, a retrospective exhibition and monograph, both titled Solstice, highlighted the breadth and depth of his practice.
SA: I’d like to talk about your overall approach and the process that led to the Solstice exhibition and book. How did you get the idea for this retrospective project?
BC: I was thinking about a book that would bring together several of my projects. For various reasons, I was sometimes dissatisfied with the previous books: choice of images, layout, printing quality. I wanted to make up for these shortcomings with a book that would be a collection of short excerpts from my projects and previously unseen images. The idea for a retrospective exhibition was quickly abandoned in favour of a collaboration with Plein sud éditions for a monograph.
Then, I received an invitation from Galerie d’art Antoine-Sirois at the Université de Sherbrooke, holding out the possibility of producing a retrospective exhibition. I had already started putting together the book, and I decided to work on both in parallel. After that, the university gallery offered to co-publish the monograph, which involved a major financial contribution.
For the exhibition, which is very different from the monograph, I chose to work with available prints and devote one project to each wall of the gallery. I wanted the exhibition to breathe. I used only images produced starting in 1996. I was my own curator; I selected the works and hung them. I was helped by a really good team at the gallery, starting with its new director, Caroline Loncol-Daigenault, and Mona Hakim helped with the texts…
Translated by Käthe Roth
See the magazine for the complete article and more images: Ciel variable 117 – SHIFTED