Studio Sixty Six
Rémi Thériault  

Rémi Thériault

Rémi Thériault is an Ottawa-based artist who studied at the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College. The essence of his personal work relies on documenting his relationship with his surroundings. His immersive process gives insight in both the landscape and people he photographs. 

Theriault has shown in a number of solo and group exhibitions including Ottawa Art Gallery, Annexe Galerie, Centre d'exposition l'Imagier, Ottawa City Hall Collection exhibitions, and the Council for the Arts. He has also been featured in numerous magazines such as Vice, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Diva, Report on Business, etc. 

Front is a series of large-scale photographs illustrating the passing of war on landscapes rich with First World War history.  This project flourished through two trips to France’s historical sites and landscapes.  Traveling France’s countryside, I got a sense of its intricate history. When I began Front in 2009, I was primarily attracted to First World War sites masked by reconstruction, such as the Vimy Memorial. It wasn’t until I entered Vimy Forest a couple of years later that I became fascinated with how the present-day character of a war space could boldly contrast its history. The Vimy Forest amazingly emitted serenity and beauty despite its violent past. 

 Visiting the spaces once ravaged by war intrigued me to explore the transitory nature of war’s relationship to place. Every place has a different relationship. While some are physically marked in commemoration of the First World War, other landscapes are seemingly untouched, like the forest overwhelmed with lush foliage. The narratives of these spaces are subjected to time and transformation, thereby potentially contrasting their contemporary realities considerably.

Captured by these complex relationships, I ventured a little further into historical sites of the First World War. I visited renowned areas like Courcelette, Paschendale, Mont St-Éloi and Beaumont-Hamel.  With little or no signs of war at all, I was struck with how abruptly a space's narrative could metamorphose. Once represented by violence and tragedy, these spaces are now exposed to modern experiences, thus reshaping their narratives.

With the intention of illustrating the relationship between the present-day authenticity of these spaces and their war borne narratives, I have furthered my project by collaborating with two local writers. I’ve invited them to create short fictional stories to accompany the images captured on this journey.  Upon photographing Vimy, I hoped to bring a contemporary outlook on these spaces contrary to the superseded lens traditionally used to characterize historical sites. 

Vimy Memorial #1
Vimy Forest Private #2
Courcelettes #1
François Hennebique
Hawthorne Crater #2
Hill 62 #1
Loos #1 and #2
Mont St-Éloi #1
Mont St-Éloi #2
Vimy forest historial #2
Y Ravine #3
Hooge PPCLI Memorial #2
Neuville-Saint-Vaast #1
Flanders Field #2
Beaumont Hamel #1
Vimy forest private #1
Untitled 1
Untitled 2
Untitled 3
Untitled 4
Untitled 5
Untitled 6