From February 23 to April 27, 2019, Galerie PARALLAX presents the exhibition “The Lines” with Martin Becka and Jean-Marc Yersin.
Conferences: March 16th with Martin Becka and April 13th with Jean-Marc Yersin
” The Lines “
Two lines drawn in the territory, overlooking the countryside, spanning the rivers, separating fields … concrete lines, ballast, steel.
One in France, the other in Canada, each plunging us into a story and a different time space.
Two abandons, for different reasons, one economic, the other structural.
Two photographers following these rails, two visions, two feelings that transport us to nowhere.
A melancholy stroll in the heart of the memory of places that seem deserted of humanity.
The Silent Line: Photographs by Martin Becka
The railway line between New Richmond and Gaspé has been shut down for almost 5 years. Its operation was interrupted following a fragility detected on a bridge. A violent storm during the winter of 2017 by projecting on the rails logs in quantity and destabilizing in places the ballast along estuaries has deteriorated this section of the line.
At the time of writing, the future of this piece of railroad seems uncertain. By discovering its history when I arrived for the photographic residence on the Gaspé Peninsula, this subject was immediately obvious.
My photographic series are mainly devoted to architecture, urban and peri-urban spaces, and landscapes. If the flamboyant architecture of some cities is immediately attractive, utilitarian architecture and industrial structuring territories to me is just as interesting.
Although today the railway line of the southern Gaspé no longer works in its greater part, it continues to be intimately linked to the territory, sometimes passing without any delimitation in the very heart of the villages, crossing the roads, spanning rivers and valleys. The impressive works of art seem to be small compared to the magnificent landscapes of the estuaries, the modest stations sometimes nested in full nature or bordering of cities do not miss to be indicated by panels which testify of their importance. Between village houses, at the edge of the water, or in the heart of forests, this breadcrumb trail weaves the fabric of the territory between the inhabitants and their landscapes, Gaspesian landscapes whose vastness is fascinating for a European eye. Evolving near these rails became silent, I met my surprise a lot more people than I could imagine. Walkers, sportsmen, residents of houses nearby, motorists marking a stop, the Gaspésiens watching any activity that may resemble future work came spontaneously to discuss to question the future of the line and consequences for the future of any the area of its rehabilitation or abandonment …
The Line: Photographs by Jean-Marc Yersin
It is one of my correspondents on the web that signaled me this exceptional architectural object, a viaduct of 18km, masterful, monumental, without any use or access. Starting from nowhere to lead to nothing, it imposes its monumental presence on the beauceronne plain, between Paris and Orleans. Vestige of the genius of the engineer Bertin, who was able to convince the top of the Republic of the relevance of his project Aerotrain, become extravagant in the eyes of those who signed his death sentence to better launch the TGV, this book comes out well and truly ordinary.
Futuristic during his conception, it is still so … Drawn with talent, it challenges. Its anachronistic silhouette functions as a kind of forgotten Land Art installation, prefiguring the way in which our infrastructures, become vestiges, could one day be seen, by others, in another time.
This viaduct could be a historical monument, tourist attraction, it is however abandoned. Severed by the construction of a highway, then by an accident with an agricultural vehicle, it seems that it hinders … but it resists, the cost of its demolition would be colossal … In 2015, it was awarded the label ” heritage of the twentieth century “.
Around the viaduct, the time has somehow suspended. Silence reigns … yet, one could still imagine the Aerotrain emerging on the plain in the roar of its reactor, as under the pencil of Claude Auclair, in his post-apocalyptic comic strip “The pilgrims” from the series “Simon of the river”.
But some still remember the astonishing industrial adventure led by the engineer Jean Bertin and his aerotrain air cushion, which, in the 1960s, moved without friction, as levitated, on a first line to ground, between Gometz and Limours near Paris, then on this viaduct, where he exceeded 400 km / h. Among these, an association of enthusiasts keeps two prototypes of Jean Bertin and opened the doors of a shed where others passionately maintain vehicles from the Second World War. The prototypes of Aerotrains alongside Jeeps, other tow trucks and Sherman tanks. Curiously, the race may well be back with the construction of a test track for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop contestants to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than half an hour, to more than 1’000 km / h.
The Galerie PARALLAX
The Galerie PARALLAX is a space dedicated to contemporary photographic art.
Its purpose is to offer cross-artistic visions of photographers on a theme related to a culture, a territory and its history.
A place of photographic creation, the Galerie PARALLAX will develop over the course of its exhibitions an artistic inventory of a heritage, testimony of our time, through various photographic techniques.
To defend the photographic author’s work, to promote it and to present it to the widest public, such will be its missions.
The artistic line of PARALLAX is defined as: “the effect of the change of position of the observer on what he perceives”.
For more information: www.galerieparallax.fr
Galerie Parallax - créations photographiques
3 rue des Epinaux 13100 Aix-en-Provence France
February 23, 2019 to April 27, 2019