Eric Bourret is an “artist walker”. His work 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”.
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.”
Eric Bourret was born in Paris in 1964. He discovered photography in 1979 during an astronomy class in the Aveyron region (France). Already a walker as a young man in the forests nearby Paris, he took on his first long hike in 1984 through the Sainte- Victoire and Sainte-Baume mountains. In 1994, he began exhibiting his photographs at the Photographic Museum in Helsinki (Finland) and at the museum of Saint-Dié- des-Vosges. Since then, his photographic projects, exhibitions and hiking trips lasting sometimes several weeks have been following each other, always closely connected – through the mountain, the plain or the city, from the pre-Islamic sites in the Middle East to the Scottish coastline, from the mountains in Provence to Roissy-en-France and to the Himalayas which he discovered in 2002 and where he returns now regularly. As a photographer-walker, Eric Bourret refuses to separate the two activities ; the physical effort and the discovery of the landscape through a progressive gaze allow him to construct slowly his images, both in stillness and movement. In his photographs, landscape contrasts with mankind, geological time with human time, and the movement of the walker with the permanence of the stone and the silence of the mountains.
15 Jun – 18 Jul 2015