French photographer and filmmaker Guy Le Querrec's collection 'Somewhere' captures life on mainland Europe in the 1950s and 60s
"A photographer is an acrobat treading the high wire of chance, trying to capture shooting stars "
- Guy Le Querrec
Born in 1941 in Paris into a family from Brittany, Guy Le Querrec shot his first pictures of jazz musicians in London in the late 1950s, making his professional debut in 1967.
Two years later he was hired by the weekly Jeune Afrique as picture editor and photographer; he did his first reportages in Francophone Africa, including Chad, Cameroon, and Niger.
In 1971, he entrusted his archives to Vu, recently founded by Pierre de Fenoyl, and in 1972, he co-founded the co-operative Viva agency but left it three years later. Le Querrec joined Magnum in 1976.
In the late 1970s he co-directed two films, and in 1980 directed the first photographic workshop organized by the City of Paris. During the Rencontres d’Arles in 1983, he created a new form of show by projecting photographs alongside a live quartet of jazz musicians, repeating the experiment in 1993 and 2006.
Le Querrec has undertaken numerous reportages on the Concert Mayol in Paris, subjects in China and Africa, and North American Indians. He punctuates his work with breaks devoted to jazz (festivals, clubs and tours), and has traveled through twenty-five African countries with the Romano-Sclavis-Texier trio.
Le Querrec’s background in jazz has informed his photography. He sees everyday scenes as a musical score, played or activated by natural forces. Sun rays in a café could be a cry or a trumpet call; Spanish workers resting on the edge of a limestone quarry are musical notations in a solo piece.
Le Querrec has also devoted much time to teaching workshops and classes in France and other countries. He has exhibited regularly throughout the world.