Exhibition: Stephen Bulger Gallery -Bertrand Carrière – Après Strand
|TORONTO, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ –
Exhibition Dates: April 6 – May 4, 2013
During the summer of 2010, Carrière travelled to the Gaspé Peninsula, following the route that Paul Strand took in 1929 and 1936. From his two trips to Gaspésie, Strand produced a number of pictures, but few are known to the general public. These two expeditions were brief, but they marked a turning point in his career as he began to tackle the problems raised by a photographic depiction of landscape and, as a result, he became the precursor of a new vision. When referring to the Gaspésie photographs, Strand said, “Their importance is that they were the first more systematic, conscious efforts to organize a landscape and its elements, all its elements.” Strand’s first trip was dedicated to the landscapes and his second was about making portraits of the people who lived there. These two trips formed what Strand defined as the essential character of a place.
Carrière’s photographs adopt Strand’s vision of photography and his approach to landscape. While deliberately avoiding imitation, he allowed himself to absorb Strand’s lessons, observing time, memory and landscape. Carrière is fascinated with stories that are bound to the land, traces of which persist to this day. His attention was drawn to the social landscape and vernacular architecture, documenting modest houses, barns, fishermen’s cabins and wayside crosses. He photographed some of the inhabitants he met, trying to be faithful to a humanistic approach, out of respect for the people who have shaped the land and have kept these remote communities alive, while struggling with an unforgiving climate and difficult socioeconomic conditions.
The Gaspésie that Strand documented no longer exists, but Carrière’s work was deeply inspired by the places Strand photographed. He also had the chance to meet with, and photograph, the grandson of one of Strand’s subjects. During the summer of 2010, Carrière travelled 5,000 miles, along route 132, looking for that essential character that Strand tried to capture.