Isabelle Hayeur is one of my favourite photographers. Her large photos are now showing at Pierre- François Ouellette’s gallery in the Belgo building, the downtown Soho-style space full of great emerging artists.
For this series, Isabelle chose an abandoned church, St-Vincent-de-Paul, in Québec City. The classical building was left gutted for years. Isabelle took this proud, ruined space and digitally superimposed it onto other locations. I felt a weird disconnect with one photo: the crumbling and ruined church has been PhotoShopped perfectly onto another scene – a pristine and perfect ‘touristy’ environment. Another photograph has strange trompe l’oeil in the windows of the damaged church. Le Congo reconnaissant (2009) was my favourite. From copper plaques that glorified them, Isabelle took faces of kings of Belgium. Then she added these images to broken tiles. Her message is clear: the beautiful image shows her feelings about the destruction brought by these kings to the Congo. Isabelle is open about her use of today’s technology. ‘’I lie to tell the truth.’’ The best ? Her video! Filmed in the huge, new suburban shopping environment called Quartier 10/30, Brossard ( a suburb of Montréal), it is a haunting and sad statement about urban growth with its ‘perfectly planned nature’. Go quickly. If you are as lucky as I was, Isabelle might even be there!
Galerie Pierre-François Ouellette, 372 Ste-Catherine West, # 216
514-395-6032 Métro: Place-des-Arts.