by BERNARD DUBÉ
is much in photography made easy by events: a spectacular sunset,
the devastation left by a hurricane, an exploding Mount Etna firing
up the night. When a photographer is at the right place at the
right time or on assignment, he will often find himself a mere
click or two away from a great shot that is easily composed and
friendly to a wide range of framing configurations. This kind
of retina-busting art bursts into the imagination like a meteor
shower that dazzles until it dies or the page is turned.
the big event are those unassuming photographs that grow on us
as an effect of the effort and inspiration that went into their
making, where the sustained gaze validates a previously undisclosed
realm or aesthetic laid bare by the photographer.
Bernard Dubé, is fascinated by that
which lies outside the big event horizon. Through a variety of
stratagems, he divests the non-event of its superficial banality
in order to disclose what is significant and worthy of our attention
in it, so that the image (the photograph) holds more interest
than the object, which is roughly what Henry James deems as the
definition of art.
above shots were taken at the hugely popular
Ottawa Blues and Folkfests
with the aim of capturing the music festival as a human phenomenon.
The fact that people were prepared to sit for extended periods
through sometimes pouring rain attests to the power of music and
the enduring value of community. How could it be otherwise, for
music and all the arts are, simply, the festival of the human
often deliberately take shots that challenge the conventional
sense of composition and aesthetics. I am left unsatisfied by
photos that are impeccably balanced. Perhaps my disposition is
analogous to some of Picasso's portraits where he purposely doesn’t
touch the canvas in certain places. My aim -- and I really enjoy
doing this -- is to force viewers to find in themselves the aesthetic
that will make the picture satisfying to them, and to have them
regard the photo as providing the creative elements which inspire
them to engage in a sort of aesthetic ‘brocolage.’
In this same way I enjoy including a certain disconcerting element
in my photos."