To experience: to test, to experiment something, to feel an emotion. Eric Bourret’s artistic approach could come down to this word. Simple, but endowed with multiple resonances.
As if his photographs were the result of a process based solely on this verb: to experience. From mount Etna to the Himalayas, through India and South Africa, Eric Bourret travels, walks, wanders around the world.
The photographer thus tests his own body, experiences solitude and silence, in search of a “place” as Mark Rothko would have said. A “place” which, taking into account all these physical and mental ordeals, allows the artist to feel the vibrations. Eric Bourret’s photographs are therefore the result of the commitment of his body and spirit, voluntarily immersed in a landscape. His images are marked with a strong poetic power, and are eminently plastic. Images of a world with natural beauty, but that Eric Bourret enhances with his glaze. [X.Rognoy]
Born in 1964 in Paris, Éric Bourret lives and works in the South of France and in the Himalayas.His work as an “artist-walker” participates in the tradition of Land Art and land surveying photography.Since the early 1990s, he has been traveling the world on foot, hiking over all kinds of terrains and at all altitudes, shooting photographs that he refers to as “experiences of walking, experiences of the visible.” His photographs evidence the deep physical and sensory transformations that the act of walking over long distances triggers, as it heightens perception and receptiveness to the surrounding landscape.
During his walks, which last a few days to several months, the artist superimposes different views of the same landscape on a single negative according to a precise conceptual protocol that stipulates the number of shots and the interval between them. These sequences intensify and accelerate the imperceptible movement of geological strata and freeze the ephemeral temporality of human beings. The accident and the unexpected are integral to this concept of random photographic shots. This photographic ephemeris breaks down the structure of the initial image and creates a different sensitive, shifting reality. The image born of this “temporal layering” is vibrant, oscillating, practically animated. More factual series include date, place, duration, distance travelled and thus convey the rhythm and the space of this walking log (carnet de marche).
Éric Bourret’s images can be seen as photographic notes in a surveyor’s score. They attest to a subjective experience, as he himself has admitted: “The landscapes that I travel through and that travel through me constitute me. I see the photographic image is a receptacle of forms, energy and meaning”. Since 1990 his work has been the subject of many exhibitions and has entered the collections of numerous museums and art centres in Europe, North and South America and Africa, including notably the Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Tamaulipas in Mexico; the Musée d’Art moderne et d’Art contemporain in Nice; the Musée Picasso in Antibes; the Maison européenne de la photographie in Paris. In 2015-16, he participated in several group expositions: Paris-Photo; Dallas Art Fair; Seattle Art Fair; Joburg Contemporary African Art; AKAA in Paris; the Venice Biennale; and Start at the Saatchi Gallery in London. [Official Website]
Éric Bourret – Stéphane Couturier – Nicolas Desplats – Raoul Hébréard
Laurent Millet – Bernard Plossu – Jacqueline Salmon – Massimo Vitali
Hôtel des Arts, Toulon, France.
7 October – 31 December 2017
La Celle Abbey, Var, France
Arthur Aillaud – Éric Bourret – Jérôme Dupin – Michel Duport
15 September – 18 November 2017
Canon Gallery, Toulon, France