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French "Walking Photographer" Eric Bourret in SA for residency

French "Walking Photographer" Eric Bourret in SA for residency
September 2015, NIROX Foundation

 Eric Bourret - Palazzo Mora - Biennale de Venise 2015 Eric Bourret - Abbey Montmajour - June 2015 Eric Bourret - Borders - 2015-05-05 a 07.44.27

“Obstinately, I pace through and record "timescapes".

French “walking photographer”, Eric Bourret, has travelled the world hiking through new territories and mountains for more than 20 years.

Bourret is no stranger to the South African landscapes. During a winter residency in 2009at NIROX, located at the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, Bourret explored this vast territory to create a new exhibition titled “What do we really know about landscape?”, later showcased at Arts on Main in 2010 and then in France.

Recently, Bourret has developed a line of work around the local landscape and in particular fire in the land. He will attend a residency at NIROX Foundation in September to continue his artistic research in South Africa.

About Eric Bourret’s work

“Obstinately, I pace through and record "timescapes".

I walk in order to render visible the time spent in the spaces traversed.
My immersion in living nature forges the frames of my images. The experience of this physical commitment to the elements is impressed on the images themselves, which are intended to be recordings of the transience and continual flux that pervade the living.
Through walking, I dialogue with the spaces I perceive and traverse, so that the landscape becomes a work.
For this purpose, my mode of operation consists of moving a certain distance between exposures. And for each motif, it is the exposure of the same negative either 6 or 9 times that produces the final outcome.
A temporal stratification of an overall sum of memories and experiences is thereby made visible in each instance.
This multiplication of the initial image means that part of it disintegrates on the negative before taking concrete form.
As I bring the composition into being, what occurs is a superimposition of a geological time scale onto a human time scale.
Several seconds or minutes may elapse between exposures, and the result is an oscillation of the photographed subject.
I fully accept the indeterminacy that is inherent in this process, which allows me to concentrate on the subject of impermanent nature, apprehended as a vibratory entity.
This degree of unpredictability generates a tension that partly negates the nature of the image as a "decisive act", blurring the purely perceptual data, and thus opening up new horizons to metaphysical interpretation.”

Eric Bourret, 2011

Follow Eric Bourret

website: www.ericbourret.com
f: Éric-Bourret

About Eric Bourret

Born in Paris in 1964, Eric Bourret lives and works in the south of France and the Himalayas.

The work of this "artist walker" has been influenced by English land artists and landscape photographers. Since the start of the 1990s, he has been travelling the world on foot, over every kind of terrain and at every altitude, making images he sees as "experiences of walking, experiences of the visible". He talks about the potential that walking represents for sensory and physical transformation: "It heightens one's attention and receptiveness to landscape."

Bourret's expeditions can last for anything from a week to several months. But he always applies the same protocol. He superimposes a number of views of each scene so that the geological and human time scales merge. With the multiple reiterations of the initial image, a part of it disintegrates on the surface of the film before taking concrete form. The final result represents a summation of different memories into a "temporal layering" that is vibrant, oscillatory, almost animated.

The practice of "walking photography" can also take the measure of a landscape, and of walking itself, in sequences of images that are more factual, with the insertion of dates and places, distances and durations.

These images can be seen as aesthetic attestations, or as unusual, sensorial complexes of rhythmic qualities. At the same time, they comprise a distinctive repository of subjective experience. As Bourret himself says: "I'm made up of the landscapes I traverse, and which also traverse me. I see photographic images as receptacles of form, energy and sense."

Since 1990, Eric Bourret's work has been exhibited in, and acquired by, museums and art centres in Europe, America and Africa. He is participating in the 2015 Venice Biennale, at the Palazzo Mora.


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