Aude Moreau. The Political Nightfall

Curator: Louise Déry

Artist: Aude Moreau

Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg

September 24, 2016 - January 8, 2017

After its great success at the Galerie de l’UQAM and at the Canadian cultural center in Paris, Aude Moreau. The Political Nightfall, first major solo show of the artist, concludes its tour in Luxembourg. This exhibition features a body of work developed by the artist over the last 7 years, with night-time panoramas of cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and Toronto. Curated by Louise Déry, The Political Nightfall is produced by the Galerie de l’UQAM in partnership with the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, Casino Luxembourg in Luxembourg and The Power Plant in Toronto.

The exhibition

The photographic, film and sound works of Aude Moreau cast a hitherto unexampled light on the North American city, with its modernist grid, its towers soaring to breathtaking heights, its illuminated logos speaking the language of the multinationals, its solids that box us in, its voids that provide an exit. Because the artist embeds film in architecture, writing in glass, politics in economics, transparency in opacity, indeed the private in the public, she deflects and refashions the iconography of these often stereotypical urban images, whose future shows no way around the gathering political darkness.

The exhibition features the premiere of the film The End in the Background of Hollywood, shot by helicopter over Los Angeles, with the twin towers of the City National Plaza conveying a powerful end-of-the-world message. In tandem, Inside (23/12/2014 – Los Angeles, Downtown) offers a street view of one of the towers and its mundane nocturnal activity, while The Last Image, shows generic endings of films about the end of the world. The starry night of the world film capital is also captured in several photographs showing the iconic Hollywood sign and the illuminated logos of big financial corporations studding the sky. Visitors will revisit Sortir, shot from a helicopter circling the Montreal Stock Exchange, Reconstruction, a moving panorama of the Manhattan skyline from the Hudson River, and discover Less is more or… on Mies van der Rohe’s towers in Toronto.

According to the curator, by investing architecture with a metaphorical power that lies between reality and fiction, between the image itself and what it recounts, Moreau makes us spectators of the present: we are subjected to the mechanisms of power and grapple with the catastrophic scenarios that flow by in an endless loop. “The artist’s thinking and observations on the city derive from Gordon Matta-Clark, Ed Ruscha and Mies Van der Rohe; created between 2008 and 2015, the four groups of works included in this exhibition give the leading role to Montreal, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. They exhort us to immerse ourselves in the texture of their images and sounds, to enter the temporality of a relentless end, to cross through the space between the images and, in that movement, perceive a world at rest, perhaps its final rest”, specifies Louise Déry.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated monograph with essays by the curator and invited authors, such as Kevin Muhlen (Luxembourg) and Fabrizio Gallanti (Princeton University).

The artist

Aude Moreau has developed a practice that encompasses her dual training in scenography and the visual arts. Whether with concepts painstakingly developed over several years to produce ambitious installations, films and photographs, or material interventions in an exhibition context, like her famous sugar carpets, Aude Moreau focuses a relevant, critical gaze upon showbiz society, the privatization of the public space, and the domination of the State by economic powers in today’s world. Her work has been shown in Quebec, France, the United States and Luxembourg. Aude Moreau has a Master’s in Visual Arts and Media from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She is a recipient of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art (2011), as well as the Powerhouse Prize from La Centrale (2011). Aude Moreau is represented by galerie antoine ertaskiran in Montreal. 

The curator

With a PhD in art history, Louise Déry has been the Director of the Galerie de l’UQAM since 1997. She has been a curator at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and has worked with a number of artists, including Rober Racine, Dominique Blain, Nancy Spero, Michael Snow, Daniel Buren, Giuseppe Penone, Raphaëlle de Groot, Shary Boyle and Sarkis. Curator of some thirty exhibitions abroad, including a dozen in Italy, and others in France, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, the United States and Asia, she was curator of the Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007, with a David Altmejd exhibition, and a performance by Raphaëlle de Groot at the 2013 Biennale. At the 2015 Biennale, she will present several of Jean-Pierre Aubé’s interventions on electromagnetic pollution.