Not being able to stage the usual Rencontres on Tour given the context of the pandemic, this year’s Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie is presenting Rencontres on the Web, which will allow the public, beginning August 21, 2020, to see videos, interviews and archival photographs online.
“Complementary to the exhibitions being held right across the Gaspé region since mid-July,” mentions Claude Goulet, executive and artistic director of Rencontres, “the material posted during Rencontres on the Web will enable audiences everywhere to discover the artists participating in the 2020 edition, along with their work, in addition to encouraging them to visit the Gaspé Peninsula to discover the actual exhibits. We’re also taking advantage of the opportunity to showcase three residency projects that have taken place in the region over the last ten years and that feature residents of the Gaspé.”
Beginning August 21, 2020, Rencontres on the Web will be presenting an excerpt from the video Deployment, by Emmanuelle Léonard (Montreal, Québec) ‒ the exhibit of the same name is being held in Chandler ‒ as well as an excerpt from Stem, by Nelly-Eve Rajotte (Montreal, Québec), a film work enjoying large-scale projection at Carleton-sur-Mer.
The public will also get to see Interwoven Roots and Atterwasch. The result of a photographic and intergenerational meetup of colorful seniors and teenagers recently arrived in Montreal, Interwoven Roots is a video (documentary short) and photo project. It was directed by Paul Tom (director, cameraman and editor) and photographer Joannie Lafrenière (Montreal, Québec), based on an original idea of drama teacher Mélissa Lefebvre’s. The documentary Atterwasch, meanwhile, was directed by Frédéric Dubois (Québec/Germany) and Marco del Pra’ (Italy/Germany). It deals with the German village of Atterwasch and the uncertainty facing its inhabitants under pressure to make way for a new open-pit coal mine.
Finally, two excerpts from Nomad Conversations, a documentary shot by the French-Italian artist Elena Perlino during a residency in Québec Innu communities in 2019, will also be screened on the Web.
Snapshots with the 2020 artists
Not being able to host the artists of this 11th edition in the Gaspé Peninsula for the usual Rencontres on Tour, the event entrusted director and editor Émilie Beaulieu-Guérette with the mission of reaching out to them so that we could share with the public a glimpse of their work. The result was a series of short videos introducing the photographers and videographers of the 2020 edition.
Empreintes… dix ans de Rencontres
While waiting for the publication of the work Empreintes… dix ans de Rencontres, scheduled for autumn 2020, Rencontres is offering the public a look back in pictures at three outstanding exhibitions staged as part of the event and featuring residents of the Gaspé Peninsula. Those are the exhibits Chandler, les portraits en papier, Gaspésiennes and Journal de la Stone (1965-2015), New Richmond.
Presented in Chandler in 2011, Chandler, les portraits en papier by Dan Bergeron (Toronto ,Ontario) consisted of a series of public portraits carried out during an artist’s residency and whose subject was the former workers at the defunct Gaspésia pulp and paper mill. At the 2nd edition of Rencontres, before the plant’s demolition, those photos were exhibited in very large format on disused buildings of the mill complex.
The Gaspésiennes project, meanwhile, by Jean-François Bérubé (Montreal, Québec) and Sophie Jean (Rimouski, Québec), grew out of a residency of over 14 days in the vast Gaspé region in 2011 designed to photograph women in their environment and in a small improvised mobile studio. Seeking to pay tribute to the women who contributed to the development of the region, Rencontres presented the results of their project in Carleton-sur-Mer in 2011, then at Cap-Chat in 2012. Their impressive mosaic, entitled Gaspésiennes, showed 30 committed, warm-hearted women of the peninsula.
Lastly, Journal de la Stone (1965-2015), New Richmond, presented at Rencontres in 2016, is the work of Gaspé native Guillaume D. Cyr. The artist, who had done a series of photographs from 2005 to 2015 on the theme of the Smurfit-Stone paper mill in New Richmond (closed since 2005), created a photo installation of 40 portraits of employees and printed newspapers that presented a triptych of photo series. The first part of the triptych, taken from the series Gaspésie Human Less II, was done in conjunction with Yana Ouellet.
For the complete programming, visit the Rencontres on the Web page.