An Interview by Nicole Gingras
A major figure in video art and film in Canada, Luc Bourdon has worked with various independent organizations in Quebec, including Vidéographe, Productions Réalisations Indépendantes de Montréal, Cinéma Parallèle, and the Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal. Since the 1980s, he has produced some fifty works – documentary, fiction, experimental – many of which are on arts and culture, and all of which feature the themes of history and memory. In 2021, he delved into the collection at Vidéographe, which was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, to make Les Vidéographes, a series of programs broadcast over a one-year period in Canada and internationally. The series served as a pretext for this conversation about video, film, writing, and film editing.
Nicole Gingras: What was your first contact with video?
Luc Bourdon: Technically, it was in 1975: I shot my first video at high school using Portapak equipment. But my first real encounter with video took place one summer day in 1982, which I spent shooting a video letter dedicated to an artist who had left to live in Paris. In the evening, I slipped into the editing suite at Vidéographe and stayed until late at night refining my letter. It was twenty minutes long. I remember that night as being when I discovered the freedom of video as a medium, a tool that makes it possible to look in differ- ent ways and capture time by other means: the potential of saying “I see” and playing with images and sounds.
N.G.: Speaking to someone who’s far away and establishing a close connection through words are both strategies that characterize your works. Tell me about that interest.
L.B.: I’ve always loved words. I love them for their sound, their originality, their evocative power. I love the voices that endow words with grace, such as the voices of Luc Caron, Jean-Pierre Ronfard, and Marie Cardinal reading their texts aloud.
I’ve read every day since I was seven, when my father put the newspaper La Presse in front of me and told me that it was time to know what was going on in the world. I love writing letters, wandering and nomadic correspondences, travel logs, and many notes in the corners of my computer screen. I take care to answer my emails as if they were telegrams to be carefully composed. I’m a craftsman of images in movement who has had to write to explain and validate his creative ideas.
See the magazine for the complete article and more images: Ciel variable 118 – EXHIBITING PHOTOGRAPHY