Thibaut Ketterer

Une auberge étrange proche d’un marché aux puces


Photograph, inkjet print

Original work
67 x 101.5 cm

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507, rue Lindsay, Drummondville

Description of the work

A true documentary journey, the Exode 138 series from which this work is taken led the artist to become imbued with the spirit of Côte-Nord, as he traveled from Baie-Comeau to Blanc-Sablon to meet local people. Thibaut Ketterer considers people living in rural areas—their ways of living and their place in our contemporary societies.

Here, we enter a space that recalls a cabinet of curiosities. Careful not to reveal every detail, the artist exposes only snippets of the homeowner’s personality. Before the shoot, he takes time to interview his host, whom he then transforms into a legend in a sort of tribute to oral transmission.

In his own words: “In À l’Auberge Aux Mille Pêcher, things are in full swing. The owner has to get everything ready for the thaw and, eventually, the tourists. He returned to Godbout, his grandparents’ village, three years ago. Before that, he worked as a sailor and in the rail and mining industries.

Thibaut Ketterer

About the artist

Thibaut Ketterer was born in Chambéry in the department of Savoie, France. In 2007, he took up photography on his own. From 2010 to 2014, he crisscrossed Europe with bands to document their tours. He holds a college diploma in photography from Cégep de Matane (2015) and is currently pursuing a certificate in visual and media arts at Université du Québec à Montréal. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Québec, France, Georgia and Belgium, as well as in art and photography books.

Artistic approach

Encountering others

Through photography, Thibaut Ketterer meets people who live in rural and outlying areas. In his almost documentary approach, the artist seeks to reveal the realities that are overlooked, unexpected and even disregarded by city dwellers. He works to highlight some of the contexts and social issues that arise outside urban centres, including the outsourcing of major activities (hospital, plant and school closures) and appearance of huge retail centres at the expense of small local shops. He also considers the pull of large cities that compels people to leave the places they were born and raised and the disappearance of certain traditional practices such as hunting and fishing.

His modus operandi is to get to know people in their everyday lives by sharing in their activities and delving into their environments, as the subjects and artist slowly break the ice. Before the shoot, Thibaut Ketterer conducts and records interviews with his subjects, which he then uses to immerse himself in their lives. In doing so, he seeks to reveal individual and personal realities, as well as sketch a social portrait. His artistic projects thus become pretexts to connect with others. Without ever falling into the trap of the foreigner discovering Québec’s wide open spaces, Thibaut Ketterer confronts us with our own ignorance of territories and how people live.

Focusing on digital colour photography and audio recordings, Thibaut Ketterer seeks to further develop his practice and explores film, photography, video and the versatility of installations. He is currently researching the transformation of rural life and its impact on our world, reflecting on how natural habitats and residential areas shift through land development and the ongoing expansion of urban life and the differences between Canada and France.

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