In the photographs from the series Untitled (2013) Guillaume Légaré captured the long abandoned, former-mining town of Anthracite, located within the Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. From 1886 until 1904, it was the site for the exploitation of anthracite, a high carbon coal; and became a destination for illicit activities resultant from the short-lived population growth. The figure personifying a ghost, masked in a white drape, intervenes the landscape, and in the exchange, his presence serves to awaken the site’s forgotten past now only detectable by the presence of few architectural remnants situated in the majestic and expansive natural landscape immaculately covered by a blanket of white snow. Légaré’s prints evoke sentiments of absence and nostalgia, the artist writes: “To me, the embodiment of a phantom spirit is a way to faint, to represent the human mysticism…By showing the city haunted by my ghostly presence, I was suggesting that the ghost became an environmental allegory. The phantom constitutes an insinuation, a symbol of wandering with a spectral character.”
Lia Zaalof, independent Curator, Spring Break Art Fair, 2015.