Erwan Morère, Très loin à l’Est, il y a l’Ouest /2*
Coming across a photograph by Erwan Morère is no light matter. Too bad, it’s too late. There you are – that’s it You know how it is, the feeling that you’ve been grabbed as you pass by – you’re hooked, carried away, and you say to yourself that if you get off while the thing’s moving, you’re going to take a bad fall. So don’t look at these photos, unless you’re prepared to go on the journey, prepared to share Erwan’s vision of those wide open spaces. The vastness of those semi-deserted territories, mainly in the north in this series, the far north – places where, far to the east, it’s the west, and vice-versa: Mongolia, Iceland, Canada – places he crossed, over and over again, in trains or planes or by hitch-hiking. We become his travelling companion. By the side of the road, even when after waiting for six hours, Erwan points out some houses over there in the distance, some men and animals, perhaps even a circus. But most of the time we share in the ebb and flow, this vortex that blurs all vision, a kind of meditation on the move. He’s talking about territory; he’s also saying that trains, motor cars, movement itself, are also territories. Nothing is calculated, there’s no research. He goes off, and it’s all improvisation. But why the north, and snow so often? Because Erwan has a family. And that family comes from a country in the north of Europe. His grandfather was called Christer Strömholm, and his father Anders Petersen. That’s the black and white of it. Say no more. That’s the way it is. A way of seeing, a certain abstraction. Those great stretches of white, of black, of grey, that caress if they don’t sting. And then there’s a hint of Hiroshi Sugimoto. But show me a photographer of this sort that doesn’t have a touch of Hiroshi Sugimoto. The problem with Erwan Morère’s photography is that once you’re grabbed and hooked and carried away, you don’t really feel inclined to get away – he takes you off into territories you’ve never seen before.
Jean-Luc Amand Fournier, curator and teacher for the ENSP
* Très loin à l’Est, il y’a l’Ouest : Far to the East, There is the West.
Exhibition venue: Grande Halle, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2012.