Entre fleuve et rivière [Between River and Stream]
Christophe Goussard & Charles-Frédérick Ouellet
March 15th > May 19th 2019 — DIDAM, Bayonne
Residency supervision, production manager and curator : Émilie Flory
I met between two centuries as at the confluence of two rivers; I plunged into the troubled waters, moving away with regret from the old shore where I was born, swimming with hope towards an unknown bank.1
Entre fleuve et rivière brings together for the first time the photographic work of Quebecer Charles-Frédérick Ouellet and Frenchman Christophe Goussard, on the Basque Country and the provinces of Quebec and Labrador, along the Adour and Saint-Laurent rivers. This adventure was born of encounters, love for the landscape and mutual curiosity. Beyond a dialogue between two photographs that look alike, Entre fleuve et rivière is a common inspiration, a desire to explore, crossed visions on two countries, two lands, two genealogies.
With a certain poetry linked to history and narratives, the residency was built around a common time on the banks of rivers. Charles-Frédérick Ouellet and Christophe Goussard affirmed their approach and their images by creating a link between these homelands. The travels, the encounters and the experience of the road have led the two artists to slide their lenses sometimes on the same details. However, each artist has kept his own universe and aesthetic language. A double look at a common past through the exile of the Basques, an interest in wandering, the quest and the violent and fallen conquest, voluntary or suffered.
In this exhibition, I have consciously chosen not to name the places, not to dissociate the spaces and territories. They answer each other, mingle and untangle. Those who know them know, those who are strangers can dream, escape, recast beliefs in imaginary. It was important to me to create a continuity in the approach to nature and the water's edge, to unveil the monsters and the song of the wind. Fusion of rock and bone, polymorphous divinities, Entre fleuve et rivière is a human adventure whose soul sails through time, along the banks and the hidden paths. The exhibition thus constructed draws its narrative from tales, fables, myths and legends, but also from what everyone thinks they know about these lands and these waves. Hostile for some, daily and usual for others, the escapes persist. The man appears there in hollow. Languages are created. Remains the inevitable melancholy of the grounds.
— Émilie Flory
Bordeaux, February 2019
1. François-René de Chateaubriand, Mémoires d’outre-tombe, 1848.
Built during 2 years, this cross-residency gives rise to exhibitions in France and in Quebec and to a book. The exhibition at DIDAM is the first part, it gathers nearly 60 unpublished photographs. The second part will be presented during the Rencontres internationales de la photographique en Gaspésie in June 2019, under the artistic direction of Claude Bélanger and Claude Goulet. In the eponymous book, published by Filigranes, the photographs are associated with poems by Itxaro Borda.
Supported by the FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA (Bordeaux) and Manif d'art (Quebec), this project is also a collaboration with the Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie and the city of Bayonne. It was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of Quebec and the City of Quebec within the framework of the Cultural Development Agreement, of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and of the City of Bayonne. And with the help of the Basque Cultural Institute and the laboratory Photon (Toulouse). Entre fleuve et rivière was supported by the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie du Québec and the Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international de la République française (Consulat général de France à Québec) within the framework of the Fonds franco-québécois pour la coopération décentralisée (FFQCD) and the Musée basque de Bayonne.
Exhibition views : © Christophe Goussard