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Question 6: Have you used a number of different media? If so, how did you come to specialize in the media that you currently favour?
I had to do printmaking all right? Once again, I joined l’Université de Moncton without any concept of what art was, I had never taken art classes in school, none of that stuff. I was totally, totally, totally innocent, I didn’t have a clue. We have to talk about the first time I set foot in the Galerie Sans Nom. I had no idea what art was all about; I didn’t know what I was getting involved in. I wanted to do photography. So from the outset I thought of myself as a photographer and any other medium I had ever worked with, ever touched, experimented with, it was always with the imagination that I would call the imagination of a photographer. I experienced other medium but as a photographer. That’s something I only came to notice much later. But I did etching. I liked it a lot. Sometimes, in photography we miss the object creation aspect. Because, like it or not, photography is perceived by the public as representation, and we never see it as an object, you never feel the paper, it’s always behind a frame behind glass. Even when I show my test prints to people, they won’t dare touch them, and to me, it’s like… munching on chips. They’re objects, they’re things that will mark the passage of time, of ideas, they’ll try to keep it all clear. So, etching, drawing, painting have all informed that vision of the object of photography. Nowadays, I really want to focus on photography and it’s really the only thing that has satisfied me. Printmaking is something I enjoyed because there’s a macho side to it that was pleasant to me. You know, we printmakers were the coolest gang at the university and we all wanted to be part of the coolest gang. We had the freshest professor, in terms of theories, at that time. They were the freshest, the most recent theories, so naturally we would gravitate toward the professor who would give the most contemporary thing, as far as we were concerned. So, that created a gang, and that’s what I liked about printmaking, it was a gang. It was a fun gang, we loved each other, we hated each other, we had fights and we partied together. Printmaking made me realize that I was not as antisocial as I wanted to be. So, etching gave me that. Painting made me realize I don’t like making objects as much as I thought. I don’t mind creating objects but painting made me realize that after a while, I didn’t want too much of a physical touch in me, in my work, because it would blur the path I felt like following. Through painting, I realized I had to be aware of the part of myself I was about to put in the work itself. But then again it’s always in terms of… We often make the comparison, is photography an art? That’s a question I’ve never really pondered over. Yes photography is art, but photography works differently from other medium, just like etching works differently from painting and it becomes a matter of process. But I think that with no sense of other processes, we can’t be sure about the process we seek to follow. Recently, I started working with digital. I find it incredibly unfulfilling but I noticed that with electronic medium, all of a sudden I dare talk about myself, somewhat, something I’ve always resisted. I would use myself in my work but as an actor. I’d take on a character, I’d take a role and I would often use myself, but I only was a cheap model, that’s all there was to it really. I never really took the time to look at my life and to see to what my life is about and is it worth expressing it to people. The electronic medium gives me that capacity to do something, an emotion, it’s flash bang, you present it; you create it before the emotion has gone away. Now that’s something photography doesn’t offer me, I work very slowly. So, there’s that side of digital that kind of fascinates me. But there’s something in digital that I find unsatisfying, I have yet to find out what it is, so I’ll keep on working with it, to produce work until I find out whether it will satisfy me or not. I’ve never really stopped to wonder if I am something other than a photographer. Cause my imagination is working when I read books such as “La chambre claire“ or when I read “On Photography” and I look at imaginations that Susan Sontag or Roland Barthes present to us, they’re describing me. I don’t want to be part of a mold but damn it I'm part of a mold, so, no, I’m a photographer.