Exhibition: – 27 Aug 2006
Oakvillegalleries at Centennial Square
120 Navy Street
ON L6J 2Z4 Oakville
Tue-Thu 12-21 . Fri 12-17 . Sat 10-17 . Sun 13-17
Isabelle Hayeur's art is an ecological critique of the effect of urbanization on the environment. Inhabiting concentrates on her analysis of the impact suburbs have had on nature, and is a selection of photographic works from three series: 'Model Homes', a succession of frontal portraits of suburban homes; 'Excavations', ground-level views of suburban groupings and the soil surrounding them; and 'Destinations', large-scale depictions of the coexistence of human habitats and their natural surroundings. Each photographic work by Isabelle Hayeur incorporates several images, using Adobe® Photoshop® software to form an apparently seamless representation. The smoothness with which she integrates views of sometimes widely differing perspectives and scales is such that it takes a moment to realize that what she is offering is an elaborate, artificial construction, not a natural scene. We have to look at these works with a mental lens that has to adapt its focus back and forth, and in the process we come to understand that issues that appear disconnected are, in fact, related to one another. Through her choice of images and themes, Hayeur expresses an anxiety about the way humanity has come to occupy the natural territory. The representation not only of a site but of what has happened to it turns her work into something akin to history painting. A history painting that expresses a moral judgment on the rapid degradation of the natural world while also making an acerbic comment on the "residential" folly that has led to the exponential growth of the suburbs. Serge Bérard, exhibition curator Born in 1969, Isabelle Hayeur, lives and works in Montreal. Since the late 1990s, she has been known for her large-format digital montages, while she also produced several videos and site-specific installations. Hayeur has exhibited in the context of various group and solo exhibitions. Most recent and upcoming exhibitions include: Les rencontres internationales de la photographie à Arles (2006), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2006), Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2005), The Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in Toronto (2005), The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2004-2005), Casino Luxembourg, forum d'art contemporain (2005) and The Neuer Berliner Kuntsverien in Berlin (2005) Publication: The hardcover, illustrated, bilingual English and French publication Inhabiting: the works of Isabelle Hayeur / Habiter: les oeuvres d'Isabelle Hayeur, by Serge Bérard (Oakville Galleries / Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 2006), will be available for purchase from Oakville Galleries.