Michel Lamothe
in Marsoui


Photogrammes 1991-2006
(Photograms 1991-2006)

Promenade de la Plage | 8 Route Principale Est | Marsoui
Couturier Building | 1 Rue du Quai | Marsoui

Michel Lamothe, Greenfield Park, Québec

Michel Lamothe lives and works in Greenfield Park. He first studied science at Université Laval in Québec City, then cinema at Loyola College in Montreal with Charles Gagnon. Since then he has worked as both photographer and filmmaker.

The artist has exhibited in Canada and in Europe, and his films have been screened at a number of international festivals. He has published two photobooks: Même les cigales dormaient (Even the Cicadas Slept), with Editions J’ai VU in 2000, and Michel Lamothe, with Éditions Plein sud et Expression in 2014.

Philippe Dubois, author of L’acte photographique, had this to say about him: “Michel Lamothe enjoys the freedom of a filmmaker in photography, just as he enjoys the freedom of a photographer in filmmaking. He inhabits a vital space, and he manages to have his images breathe the free air that exists between those two worlds.”


Photogrammes 1991-2006
(Photograms 1991-2006)

In filmmaking technique, the word “photogram” refers to the smallest capture units, indivisible images whose sequence, 24 times per second, creates filmic continuity.

“ Photograms are small-size images printed on photographic paper from negatives of my 16 mm and super 8 mm films.

“Photogrammes 1991-2006 is another step in my research concerning the relationships between cinema and photography. Working constantly with these two means of expression, I find that there are correspondences, allusions that emerge, a reflection that matures in the course of experiments.

“ Thus, in my films, I explore the connection with photography, playing on that notion of time and motion almost suspended. Very often, the framing is fixed. The character-subjects sometimes keep the same pose the entire length of the shot. Other times, at first glance, nothing is happening, so to speak, on the screen, no perceptible movement; then, very gently, a branch begins to quiver in the wind.

“Conversely, Photogrammes 1991-2006 is built around the deconstruction of motion. There is an interruption of the natural unfolding of the action through a focusing of all the breath that brings it to life on a single frame. As a result, the before and after, the beginning and end are abandoned. Only a fleeting moment remains, deprived of its all, stripped of its history, and now independent.

“Photogrammes 1991-2006 thus resembles my work with the camera obscura (the pinhole), in that desire to transform time and in the familiar look that I bring to bear on things. Also present, that eagerness to deal with chance and intuition. On which fraction of a second should my gaze hang? I move forward, move back, I return, I analyze, I reconstruct, I stop. I choose to stand still at that point. From a “plastic” point of view, the enlargement of these very small negatives brings out and lets us discover the grain, the textures and contrasts. The slightly murky atmosphere that inhabits these images is somewhat reminiscent of the atmosphere of my pinhole images.

“The photograms come from sequences filmed over the years, collected like jottings in a notebook, that we’ll return to later on. Souvenirs that speak to my day-to-day life, to my relationship with the world, to beings and to things. It’s an intimate look at time passing over those beings and things, at the light that touches them for an instant. ”

Michel Lamothe

“Before Lamothe’s photograms, we are literally seized by their filmic properties, by everything in them that reveals the power of cinema (stemming from the framing, the grain, the displacement, the brightness, the incandescence of these little images, all of which are concentrates of energy). There is a virtual cinema that haunts, like a ghost, each one of these photograms.”

Philippe Dubois