Our latest Artist You Need To Know is Isabelle Hayeur. Hayeur works in both photography and film. She’s a Canadian artist whose artworks explore ideas of both ecology and urban spaces, bringing a critical eye to them individually but also where they intersect. She is wide ranging in her practice: Isabelle Hayeur has created artworks for the public sphere, photography books and several video installations.
Several themes inform her practice, often overlapping, in her beautiful yet sometimes unsettling scenes. These include urban sprawl, industrialization, capitalism and ecotopia (which is an idea that “is derived from the subgenre Ecotopian fiction. Ecotopian fiction is derived from the synthesis of utopian and dystopian worlds… [these are] works that show the coexistence of rural and urban, natural and manufactured, protection and exploitation, conservation and destruction, nostalgia and futuristic vision, to challenge the notion that modernity equals progress.” This is from Lynne-Marie Marsh, writing about the exhibition Ecotopia, in which Hayeur was a featured artist).
Numerous collections have her work, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and the Fonds national d’art contemporain in Paris. Hayeur was awarded the Prix OFQJ, Champ Libre, Le Fresnoy (2004)
and Prix Contact For emerging photography artist (2001).
Since the 1990s, Hayeur has participated in many solo and group exhibitions across Canada and internationally. Solo exhibitions of Hayeur’s work have been mounted at many galleries, including Musée d’art de Joliette, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, The Casino Luxembourg forum d’art contemporain, The Neuer Berliner Kuntsverein, The Southern Alberta Art Gallery, The Agnes Etherington Art Center, The Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art and the Tampa Museum of Art.
A number of festivals and sites have screened her works, including Images Festival (Toronto), Antimatter (Victoria), Videoformes (France), Transmediale (Berlin), FILE electronic language international festival (Sao Paulo), FIFA (Montreal), LOOP Videoart (Barcelona), Les instants vidéo (Marseille) and Les rencontres internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid. Hayeur has also had video installations commissioned by The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans (2018), La Biennale de Montréal (2014), The Public Art Program at The Denver International Airport (2013), Nocturne Halifax (2013), Nuit Blanche Toronto (2011) and The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.
From Art – Agenda: “Hayeur’s work is situated within an ecological and urbanist critique. Having lived in the suburbs for twenty years, she witnessed the spectacle of urban sprawl and the many disappearances that go along with it. Marked by this experience, her approach is informed by environmental concerns and issues of land use and regional development. She is particularly concerned with feelings of alienation, uprootedness, and dislocation.”
Much more of her work can be enjoyed here.