Thibaut Cuisset, Montana, United States, 2012
Exhibition from December 9, 2021 to January 15, 2022
[ Opening Saturday December 11, 2021 (3pm - 8pm) ]
Les filles du calvaire gallery is pleased to present La Partition Américaine by Thibaut Cuisset. For the first time are shown some of the images from his research on the American landscape, an unpublished series made before he passed away in 2017.
For 30 years, Thibaut Cuisset explored the world to document its landscapes with gentleness and precision. Immediately recognizable, Cuisset’s images patiently capture the specificities of each territory and their contemporaneity, whether they are untouched or inhabited. His gaze, his light, his cinematographic vision and his affinity with painting produce this inimitable “essence of a place” without anecdote, without pathos, and most of the time without character; Cuisset makes “portraits of landscapes” whether in the absolute outside or in the identity of cities. Combining the description with the aesthetic, he gives us the reality of the place and transmits his emotion in front of it.
From 2012 to 2015, Thibaut Cuisset made three long trips to the United States, giving his reading of America and with the awareness that photographing this territory is part of the history of art and photography. In an expeditionary movement and from the end of the 19th century, photographers documented the atmosphere of cities, urban modernity and the immensity of nature (Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Ansel Adams…). In the twentieth century, the American journey replaced the artists’ Grand Tour of Europe. Later in 1975, the exhibition The New Topographics consecrated the emergence of a new approach to documentary photography and crystallized the research on landscape of a whole generation of photographers.
Thibaut Cuisset’s work is a long journey and consists first of all of a true experience of impregnation in which the location “is diluted little by little in the shot”. The capture of the American territory does not escape this method. The artist did not want to cross the country from East to West, “already done” according to him, but instead focused on gathering “pieces” of America, to show the diversity and immensity of its spaces: national parks, rural areas and towns, large American cities and suburbs. Of the six trips initially planned, he was able to make three.
The images presented in the gallery are the result of the first two trips, made successively in the fall of 2012, the spring of 2014 and in 2015. During the first trip, Thibaut Cuisset went to the Wild West, that of the pioneers of the conquest of the West and the Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-1806). Starting in Fargo (North Dakota), he then travelled through five other states: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado. The second trip plunged into the deep south (Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas). Cuisset then confronts the south of the country, its “denser spaces and more secret immensities”. On the third trip he arrived in Las Vegas, crossed the Death Valley and followed the West Coast from Los Angeles, California to Seattle, Washington.
“In the other countries I visited, I had few photographs in mind when I travelled through the territories. Here, it’s very different: there can’t be a country more photographed than the United States. It is precisely this experience that interests me: how to look at and photograph the United States today? By decoding it as a great score to be read.”
By effectively considering the American landscape as a great score, Cuisset reaffirmed in these few lines his methodical, melodic and poetic reading of the world.
The exhibition was created in collaboration with Camille Cuisset.
And with the support of the Centre national des arts plastiques and the Fondation des Artistes.
Until May 22, 2022, Thibaut Cuisset’s work can be seen at Le Jeu de Paume – Tours, which presents his research on the landscapes of the Loire and its close surroundings.