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Rachelle Bergeron


January 25 to March 8, 2008


Unknown

Bergeron functions within a studio setting using a consistent colourless environment devoid of props, costume or extraneous detail. As a result, her work is built as confrontation with an almost-larger-than life gaze and accentuated posturing. Her subjects are tightly framed as they engage the lens often presenting only head and shoulders or even simply, an arm or hand.

The youngest of her subjects is Dallas. We witness his body curled and cradled—framed by disembodied appendages, belonging presumably to a caregiver. The stare is upward, directed at his handler or perhaps at the viewer—either way, it’s with an unmistakable curiosity. In another photo fourteen-year-old Parker is a lone figure who’s direct stare—arms behind head and chest partially exposed—denotes a proneness ready for the unknown.

Anthony is strong, playful and flirtatious with a smirk and exposed tongue that licks the side of his cheek. The portrait of Robert is closely cropped with a play of light that accentuates worn features. The photograph is a reading of every wrinkle, crease, pleat and ultimately the decoding of a lifetime of narratives.

Bergeron can transform the subtle into grand and the monochromatic into something vivid. She is a documentarian confidant with a practice that endeavors to reveal but becomes a moment of revelation.


Rachelle Bergeron’s photographic work explores the possibilities of portraiture and its remarkable potential to capture a fleeting moment, singular emotion or complex sentiment. In her current body of portraits, Bergeron locates the confident and austere in subjects who are sometimes aged and thoughtful or youthful and boisterous. The artist’s ongoing investment in a black and white genre functions as a lens through which the viewer’s gaze is concentrated and thus perhaps heightening an aptitude for the gesture of a furrowed brow, clenched hand, wink or grin.

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