VOX — Centre de l’image contemporaine

Isabelle Hayeur

Portrait of Isabelle Hayeur.
Portrait of Isabelle Hayeur.

Born in 1969, Isabelle Hayeur lives and works in Montreal, Quebec. She obtained an MFA in Visual Arts from Université du Québec à Montréal in 2002. A media arts practitioner, she is active in digital imaging, video, Web art and site-specific installations. Her work is in essence a critical approach to the environment and urban development. Her approach is directly related to the spectacle of urban sprawl, and nurtured by discourses around environmental matters, such as the problems inherent in land use planning

Since the end of the 1990s, Isabelle Hayeur has been taking panoramic photographs which reveal her unusual critique of the North American anthropic landscape. Her images represent places where the debate over land-use is being played out, such as the division of land into building-plots on the outskirts of towns, waste ground, places where the landscape is being exploited and other unusual and disenchanted locations. The artist’s ultra-realist landscapes are, nevertheless, a little artificial, because they have been made using different sources. Just like a painter, Isabelle Hayeur retouches existing landscapes and uses fragments of images from a variety of origins and temporalities, and nimble-fingeredly produces a displacement of meaning, constructing very strange places, at the outer limits of probability. The unknown, or unknowable, places she constructs by blending different places together into one, demonstrate weaknesses that focus our attention on our relationship with the environment; the transformation and development of towns and citie; the strata of urban history; the insertion of townas and cities into the countryside, and the many different styles of urban living. [Source: VOX, 2009]