4.12.2021 Virtual Residency: Frederic Bigras-Burrogano

Frederic Bigras-Burrogano will be in residence at Third Space from April 12 – June 7, 2021. Check back weekly for updates!

Into the Woods is the third and final piece of a longer series examining the parallel between the framing of a documentary photograph and the construction of Canadian national identity. I question how these two “framing devices” are presented as both exhaustive and neutral while operating an exclusion of elements that would contradict their uniformity. The project emerged from questioning what are the connections between landscape and Canadian identity, and its relationship to the Canadian economic model centred on resource extraction.

My work is broadly concerned with national identities and the role landscape and rural communities play in their formation. My approach is anchored in the creation of artworks combining a deconstruction of the documentary photographic system with an exploration of materialities from my field of research. By incorporating materialities and techniques from photography with those from fieldwork, I investigate how art inscribes itself in the understanding and experience of space. My practice takes shape in installations where certain institutional codes are critiqued through individual pieces and texts, allowing a kind of visual memory play to activate the viewer.

Ma pratique repose sur une étude de différentes symboliques utilisées dans la formation des identités nationales canadiennes. Je m’intéresse particulièrement aux paysages ruraux, à leurs archives, leur condition socioéconomique et à la manière dont ces univers narratifs traversent l’espace et le temps. Ma démarche prend la forme d’installations où certains codes de lecture sont fournis au travers des œuvres et des textes s’y retrouvant, se prêtant ainsi à un jeu de mémoire visuelle telle une méthode d’enquête qui active le visiteur dans son appétit de sens. 

Recent exhibitions include Der Greif, a process 2.0 at the Krakow Photography Festival, Black water at the Chinese European Art Centre (Xiamen) and Milan NM at The New Gallery +15 (Calgary). I am currently pursuing a research-creation MA at l’UQAM and my work has been funded by the Quebec Council of Arts and the Canadian Arts Council.

Mon travail a été présenté lors d’exposition tel que Der Greif, a process 2.0 au festival de la photographie de Cracovie, Black Water au Chinese European Art Centre (Xiamen) et Milan, NM a The New Gallery +15 (Calgary). Je suis présentement en train de finir une maitrise en recherche-création à l’UQAM et mon travail fut financé par le Conseil des Arts du Québec et le Conseil des Arts du Canada. 

Into the Woods is the third and final piece of a longer series examining the parallel between the framing of a documentary photograph and the construction of Canadian national identity. I question how these two “framing devices” are presented as both exhaustive and neutral while operating an exclusion of elements that would contradict their uniformity. The project emerged from questioning what are the connections between landscape and Canadian identity, and its relationship to the Canadian economic model centred on resource extraction.

The first piece, Hills of Home (2015-2019), produced partly during a practicum at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, documented the economic transition from coal mining to paleontological-based tourism in the Dinosaur Valley around Drumheller, Alberta. The second, The Dying Sea (2019-2020), takes place in Gaspésie, Quebec and is my UQAM master’s research-creation with thesis project. It investigates the disappearance of the Atlantic cod in relationship with the new touristic circuit of the Cod Route and its dependence on the automobile infrastructure. 

This project will extend this work by exploring the representation of the timber industry in the New Brunswick Museum’s permanent collection, sponsored by the Irving Corporation. I aim to investigate the relationship between the representation of extractive industries in Canadian cultural institutions and what narrative emanate from these exhibition, its artefacts and the museology used at the museum. Both in relationship to Canadian national identity and to reproducing neoliberal affects of fear: Fear of running out of resources and fear of what would happen after the fall of capitalism. 

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