Sapar Contemporary is proud to present Eric Bourret Walks Alone, the artist’s first solo NYC exhibition with the gallery. As an “artist-walker”, he climbs summits in order to produce his work, shooting photographs that he refers to as “experiences of walking, experiences of the visible.” He has documented his walks in the mountains of his native France, in the Himalayas, the deserts of South Africa and the Americas, on the icebergs of Greenland, and on volcanos in Europe. His photographs are evidence of the deep physical and sensory transformations that the act of walking over long distances triggers, "it heightens perception and receptiveness to the surrounding landscape.” Emmanuelle de l'Écotais, Curator at the Photography Department of the Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris, positions Bourret’s practice in the tradition of Romantic artists-wanderers such as Caspar David Friedrich, as well as writers-travellers like Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Sand and Nerval. Bourret’s work is also seen in the tradition of Land Art, and in conversation with his contemporaries such as Francis Alys, and “walking artists” such as Robert Long and Hamish Fulton.
Éric Bourret’s images can be seen as photographic notes in a surveyor’s score. They attest to a subjective experience, as he himself has admitted: “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 protocol that stipulates the number of shots and the interval between them. These sequences intensify and accelerate the imperceptible movement of geological strata and freeze the ephemeral temporality of human beings. The accident and the unexpected are integral to this concept of random photographic shots. This photographic ephemeris breaks down the structure of the initial image and creates a different sensitive, shifting reality.