I was born in the heart of the winter of 1959 in La Sarre, Abitibi, but have been living on the island of Montreal since the age of two. I completed a BA in Visual Arts at UQAM. The body of work shown in this Web site was essentially created from 2012 until today.
I attach significance at once to the functions of eyewitness, social revelator and creator of the artist engaged in a visual production, whatever its mode: photo, drawing, video or digital art. Through the flood of visual information of our time, I ponder about the relationship between the appearance of likelihood evoked by an image and the medium used to capture, design or create it from scratch.
During the first hundred years of the history of photography, the new medium clearly dethroned drawing and painting as a vehicle of consensual realism. Recently, for a little more than twenty five years, especially with the advent of Photoshop and virtual photography and the generalization of instant messaging, we are witnessing a significant displacement of the same nature concerning the photo image, even in vernacular culture. It has become dubious, untrustworthy.
Similarly, codes of televisual play are now so widely shared that it is no longer necessary to use actors. The protagonists of reality shows know what is expected of them. In this age when anyone can claim to perform a creative act by applying different filters to a few consecutive selfies and where it is easy to retouch photos to skew their context and content, several questions arise: When does the acting start and stop? Where lays the fiction? When does a gesture become a creative act? How does a realistically retouched photo differ from a painted work or a simple sketch? Whether an image is documentary, dreamlike, designed for a mercantile purpose, or simply the result of a mechanical trigger, who will use it and how?
Nonetheless, I vow a great respect to serious photojournalists and photojournalism. In my recent work, I have tried to give back a place to history and to my concerns about the environment. I observe the evolution and crossbreeding of Québec’s culture.
— Jacques Lebleu, July 2017