in almost every picture.
Almost forty years ago, I collected our family’s complete pictures and negatives. Amongst these treasures, there was an unusual photo from 1963:
At that time, I was working alongside a friend of mine. He was busy with a series concerning his father-in-law. Included in his selection was a familiar
At that moment, it became clear that my piglet portrait wasn’t a one-off. Where there were two such porker pictures, there must be more. Somebody was
Testing this theory meant casting a wide net. I placed an ad in a seniors’ newspaper and waited. Unexpectedly, memories were jogged, and soon I had a
I also discovered answers to the “why” behind these mysterious pig pictures. Spanning from 1938 to 1973, this series was initiated by Au Lutin Qui
Whatever his motivations, the series came to an end along with the restaurant. Au Lutin Qui Bouffe was destroyed by fire, turning its accumulated piggy
Special thanks to Gilles Cuerrier for the use of the archives of his father, the photographer Jean-Paul Cuerrier (1917-1998). Many thanks to Yves O’Reilly
And a thought for the real heroes of this story, the thousands of piglets that posed for the camera over the 35 years that the Au Lutin Qui Bouffe restaurant
operated at the corner of Saint-Grégoire and Saint-Hubert streets, in Montreal.
for his assistance with research and documentation. My gratitude to all the people who lent me their photos, whether used or not.
tion of 2,000 copies. ISBN 978-90-70478-35-3 www.kesselskramerpublishing.com
lands. Publisher contact: Kyra Müller, email@example.com Distributed by Idea Books, firstname.lastname@example.org Pre-press and printing by Zwaan premedia, in an edi-
Scanning and computer support: Yves O’Reilly and Stéphane Dionne. Published by KesselsKramer Publishing, Lauriergracht 39, 1016 RG Amsterdam, The Nether-
A KesselsKramer book. July 2011. Collected by Michel Campeau and edited by Erik Kessels. Designed by Erik Kessels. Words by Michel Campeau.
In the final analysis, the destiny of these porkers depends on the reader’s imagination.
For those wondering about the fate of the pictures’ curly tailed stars, I’m afraid there is no clear answer. Some say they ended up on the menu. Others
claim a more dignified conclusion: retirement to a farm.
archives to ashes. Ultimately, I was able to find only a fraction of Cuerrier’s collection, which totaled thousands.
made two hundred and fifty photographs in one night.
keeping this photo-conceptualist ritual alive. But it wasn’t just about creativity or cash, there was a compulsiveness to Cuerrier’s work. According to his son, he once
Bouffe’s art-loving founder, Joseph B. McAbbie, who later hired a “society photographer” named Jean-Paul Cuerrier. Long after the owner’s death, Cuerrier persisted,
of bracelets, necklaces, hairstyles and human interactions.
calls. The systematic and repetitive nature of these images was fascinating. The pig was the constant, and around him only little differences, an ever changing pageant
third picture: again, diners with the singular mascot. It wasn’t long before I was subject to a wave of these porcine poseurs, receiving more than two hundred phone
photographing customers with piglets night after night.
looking snapshot: a piglet in the same restaurant, again being hand fed.
until 2005 that a coincidence began the journey leading to this book.
a red-ribboned piglet in a restaurant called Au Lutin Qui Bouffe, being hand fed by my mother. This image has stayed with me across the decades. However, it wasn’t
This in almost every picture is the conclusion to a strange detective story.