Exhibitions > Past
Part 1: MARCH 20 to APRIL 19, 2008
Isabelle Hayeur (Canada)
Stéphane Couturier (France)
Mark Ruwedel (United States)
Part 2: APRIL 26 to MAY 24, 2008
Laëtitia Bourget (France)
Anne Zahalka (Australia)
Valérie Jouve (France)
Landscape is a privileged subject in art history. More than a theme, it figures as a genre of its own, having its own rules, its critical and semantic conventions. It is often manifest in artists' work as a kind of unalterable fact, part of "the eternity of nature, an always already there, before man, and likely after him" (Anne Cauquelin, L'Invention du paysage (Paris: Plon, 1989), 31).
Yet, it is precisely this question of changelessness and eternity that artists have begun to question today.The artists brought together here deal with landscape, not in a transcendent, contemplative and ethereal vein, but in a critical frame of mind. Isabelle Hayeur and Anne Zahalka capture natural environments that are doctored and constructed, whether through man-made facsimiles in parks and museum spaces (Zahalka) or through the artist's own constructions, using digital tools to fashion new and improbable landscapes (Hayeur). Likewise, Stéphane Couturier and Mark Ruwedel reassess landscapes in terms of environments and the shelters and structures within them. With these two artists especially, landscape distances itself from its natural state to approach the urban world that is the predicament of a large portion of the planet's population.The theatre of the world is not just set against bucolic backdrops; it is also manifest in urban settings where we live in communities, in constructed, built-up contexts, governed by our movements from one structure to the next. Thus do Valérie Jouve and Laëtitia Bourget display the singular peregrinations and dwellings of figures in their environment, emphatically drawing our attention to the residing human presence.