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Isabelle Hayeur, "Periphérie (la cité) / Periphery", digitally-altered photograph, 40" X 60", 1999

Isabelle Hayeur

Montreal-based artist Isabelle Hayeur documents wastelands, urban fringes, abandoned industrial sites and modified "natural" environments and then blends the images together to create photographs of places that never existed.

"I track down the signs, traces and artefacts which reveal the contradictions and ruptures in contemporary landscapes. I then alter my photographic images in order to extend their meaning. Constructed from abandoned, disordered and marginal spaces, these landscapes of silence in turn move us. Their time appears suspended, granted a reprieve."

"'Periphery' belongs to the 'Drift' series where I focused on 'non-sites'. It was constructed from an image of a sand quarry and a found image of a building. The various elements that make up the image are perfectly integrated into their environment at the same time that they disrupt the image. It is as if the crux of the matter is to be found between fusion and domination that highlights our ambivalent attitude towards the planet."

Hayeur's artificially altered landscapes challenge ideas of what we want as a society. A fake coastline or construction site or even an online roll-over image showing how a place could be, creates an opportunity to reflect on the aesthetic ideals we apply to our increasingly mediated environment. Like the antitheses of the official "Kodak picture-spots" at a tourist attraction, these places look like ones we'd normally overlook. Knowing that they're carefully composited hybrids helps us question the blinders we apply to ignore the real messes we do make.


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Pari Nadimi Gallery

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