Milan New Mexico
September 25 — November 25, 2016
+15 Window Exhibition
Milan New Mexico is an ongoing series that explores the phenomenon of North American towns that are named using the borrowed names from other cities of the world. This project uses photography, research and mapping to explore the connection between these new cities, as well as their relationship with preconceived notions concerning their esthetic, North American culture and biculturalism.
As a Canadian-Italian, Bigras-Burrogano interrogates his own sense of belonging and bicultural identity in this body of work. These towns can be seen as a metaphor for the children of immigrants. There is a parallel between how we perceive these individuals and our expectations of these towns. Similarly this project examines how we expect and project certain cultural elements based on their provenance.
Influenced by the works of Joel Sternfield, Alec Soth and Stephen Shore, these images serve as a way to explore North American culture and a sense of longing and nostalgia. Using road trips to produce the images – a definitive symbol of our continental culture – to re-examine our relationship to the land, its architecture and ethos of where we live. How did these hundreds of towns appear all across North America? What connection can be drawn between these cities? How are expectations of specific cultures shaped? How does this play in a broader sense of stereotyping visual cultural identity? How do these images shape our understanding of North American spaces?
Frederic Bigras-Burrogano is a Montreal-Born conceptual photographer currently based in Alberta. He uses photography to document the ambiguity of preconceived ideas versus the expectation of the viewer. His work is broadly concerned with national identities and the role landscape plays in its formation. He studied at Concordia University and has exhibited at Les Territoires (Montréal, Canada), Der Greif, a process 2.0 at the Krakow Photography Festival (Krakow, Poland) and at the Chinese European Art Center (Xiamen, China). He has delivered lectures at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada (Calgary, Canada), Xiamen University and Champlain College (Saint-Lambert, Canada). Most recently, He was awarded a Creation and Research grant from the Quebec Art Council.