Further to the call for projects that Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie sent out to professional photographers this past February, Montreal artists Jean-François Hamelin and Sara A. Tremblay have been selected to carry out a photo assignment on the contemporary Gaspé landscape from June to December 2016.
A preselection of the most pertinent projects, from among the 118 proposals received, was first carried out by Alexis Desgagnés, curator in charge of photo assignments, and Claude Goulet, executive and artistic director of Rencontres. A committee of artists and stakeholders from current Québec photographic circles then examined the files. “The Jean-François Hamelin and Sara A. Tremblay projects seemed the most promising in the eyes of the committee with respect to the treatment of an aspect of the contemporary Gaspesian landscape with the language of photography,” stated Alexis Desgagnés. Jean-François Hamelin’s intention is to document the Gaspesian landscape with an emphasis on the geology of the region. He will be in the Gaspé in May on a scouting mission, and then in June to take pictures. For her part, visual artist Sara A. Tremblay will be collecting images of the Gaspesian landscape in July by walking the 650 kilometers of the International Appalachian Trail, images she will use later as illustrations.
During the Rencontres Photographer Tour, in August, the two artists will come and talk about their first adventures in the territory. The get-together with them will take place at the Vaste et Vague Artist Centre in Carleton-sur-Mer. An exhibit of the work of Jean-François Hamelin and Sara A. Tremblay will be staged during the 2017 edition of Rencontres.
These two artists’ projects will be the initial contributions to a long-term photographic mission. Given the necessary funding, it will cover, between now and 2121, the entirety of the Québec landscape, the idea being to create a national archival fund of photographs on the subject. Rencontres is seeking to act as a shareholder in this important mission, in partnership with organizations from other regions recognized by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Additionally, at the same time as the professional assignments initiated by Rencontres, the citizen project monpaysage.ca has been set up in partnership with the Québec Ministry of Culture and Communications. In the framework of that project, citizens are invited to document the Gaspesian landscape – natural or transformed, beautiful or ugly, inhabited or uninhabited – by sharing photos on monpaysage.ca and social media, then commenting on the ones published there.
This project was made possible thanks to support from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec and from the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations du Québec.