Éric Bourret “Walks Alone”

Sapar Contemporary

poster for Éric Bourret “Walks Alone”

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Sapar Contemporary presents Éric Bourret Walks Alone, the artist’s first solo NYC exhibition with the gallery. As an “artist-walker” Éric Bourret climbs summits to produce photographs that he refers to as “experiences of walking, experiences of the visible”. Documenting walks through diverse and dramatic topographies, like the mountains of his native France, the Himalayas, the deserts of South Africa and the Americas, the icebergs of Greenland and the volcanoes of Europe, Bourret’s photographs also operate as evidence of the deep physical and sensory transformations that the activity of long-distance walking elicits: “it heightens perception and receptiveness to the surrounding landscape.” While Emmanuelle de l’Écotais, Curator at the Photography Department of the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, tethers Bourret’s practice to the tradition of Romantic artist-wanderers such as Caspar David Friedrich, as well as their literary counterparts like Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Sand and Nerval, Bourret’s work is also regularly positioned in conversation with the genre of Land Art, more specifically with the production of his contemporary Francis Alys and his fellow “artist-walkers” Richard Long and Hamish Fulton.

Éric Bourret’s images can be thought of as photographic notes in a surveyor’s score. They attest to a subjective experience, as he himself has theorized: “The landscapes that I travel through and that travel through me constitute me. I see the photographic image as a receptacle of forms, energy and meaning.” 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 and procedural protocol that stipulates both the number of shots and the length of the interval between them. These sequences intensify and accelerate the imperceptible movement of geological strata and suspend the ephemeral temporality of the human experience thereof. The accident and the unexpected are also integral to this method of aleatoric photography. The resulting photographic ephemeris deconstructs the coherence of the original image and creates a different sensitive, shifting reality. The picture born of this “temporal layering” is vibrant, oscillating, practically animated. However, Bourret’s output also includes more factual series which, through their documentary inclusion of date, place, duration, distance-travelled and so on, invoke the form and rhythm of a walking log (carnet de marche).

His work has been the subject of many solo exhibitions and included in many institutional collections, including notably the Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Tamaulipas in Mexico; the Musée d’Art modern et d’Art contemporain in Nice; the Musée Picasso in Antibes; the Maison Européenne de la photographie in Paris; the Muséu da Imagen in Braga, the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne, the Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia in Turin; the Shenzhen Art Museum in China, and many others. This summer Bourret has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Xie Zilong Photography Museum, XPM in China.



from June 13, 2019 to August 03, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-06-20 from 18:00 to 21:00


Éric Bourret

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