VOX — Centre de l’image contemporaine

Isabelle Hayeur, _Le Congo Reconnaissant I, II et III_, from the serie _Formes de monuments_, 2008-2009, chromogenic prints, 61 x 91 cm each. Courtesy of the artist.

Isabelle Hayeur
Formes de monuments

2009.05.13 - 06.21


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. Her latest project, Formes de monuments (2008-2009) was created in Brussels within this framework. By juxtaposing urban blight and public statuary, these new compositions metaphorically show the changing city and the uneasy cohabitation of standardised town-planning with cultural identity. The result of this cohabitation are images that are seductive and disturbing at the same time, located between devastated land and the commemorative spaces of history.

We wish to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec, Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec, Canada Council for the Arts, Délégation générale du Québec in Brussels and the Canadian Cultural Center in Paris.

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