The American Landscapes
The American Landscapes project is part of my ongoing research on the theme of landscape painting. This series follows the Sky and Road paintings and the exhibition Bleu risque at the Galerie Observatoire 4 of Montreal in April, 2000. Based on photographic images taken from moving vehicles, this series offers images that stand at the border between photography and painting. In so doing, this project becomes a research laboratory on the capacity of painting to renew itself within the theme of landscape.
This project began several years ago as a means to rethink, in a critical manner, traditional pictorial themes. The traditional painting codes, time and again reappropriated by the global visual culture (photography, advertisements, electronic mass media) can serve, in my opinion, as an echo of our modern times if they engage in a dialogue with this culture’s images and reappropriate in their turn the syntax and the visual codes of contemporary culture.
In this series, as in most of my previous work, photography occupies an important part in the artistic process. My interest in photography is as a material, of which I preserve the syntax, its documentary character, and its capacity to evoke the inexpressible through the presentation of the indefinite. A complex medium in itself, photography serves as a starting point in the process of creation : these snapshots point not only to an image, but also to the point of view of the photographer. These clumsy images, which serve as the raw material for my work, create a contrast with the pictorial quality of the final images. The historical and cultural heritage of oil painting serves as a reply to the anecdotal and interchangeable aspect of the image.