Sébastien MichaudMontréal, Canada
Sébastien Michaud has lived almost his entire life in Montreal. In fact, the subject of one of his first photo series, inspired by the Italian photographer Alessandra Chemollo’s Marghera series, was the refineries located in Montreal’s east end.
Having completed his training in silver halide photography in the early 2000s, he continued his university studies in the visual arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) until 2013. Following a few multidisciplinary art exhibitions, he decided to almost exclusively dedicate himself to photography.
The photographs which comprise Supermarket Landscape are no less than the snowbanks that build up over the winter in the parking lots of shopping malls.
Snow that is collected and then shoved into a corner so the shopping mall can operate properly and pursue its economic activity.
These pictures, which include those of snowdrifts, were taken over a period of four years all over Quebec. At first glance, they seem more like an alien — or idyllic — landscape than those we would like to gaze upon after many days of hiking in the wilderness.
Looking at these images, the spectator is faced with a contradiction. Here, the beautiful scenery is born out of rejection, an environment as ambiguous as the so-called “natural” landscapes that modern society still holds as a promise, but which are, in reality, usually reshaped and controlled.
These photographs allow us to reset how we relate to the landscape.