Manon De Pauw. Intrigues

Curator: Louise Déry

Artist: Manon De Pauw

Cambridge Art Galleries, Cambridge

April 10, 2010 - May 9, 2010

The works in the exhibition Manon De Pauw. Intrigues, touring since 2009, describe the path the artist has taken since the beginning of this decade. A publication accompagnies the exhibition.

The Exhibition

Photograms, photographs, video performances, performance set-ups, single-channel videos and multi-channel video installations investigate light and the image in ways as varied as they are poetic. Manipulation of accessories, materials and colours, unfurling gestures, hands and bodies, recourse to various means of mechanical and digital recording, and use of surfaces of inscription like paper, tables, screens and lightboxes are all part of this protocol of artistic experimentation that generates a visual writing through which various ages of the image run like veins.

If Manon De Pauw explores the appearing of the image – with its measure of unpredictability, suspended materiality, narrative potential and motion – it is because much of her work is produced in the darkroom or the shadows of the studio. She has the ability to latch onto this fragile breath of the image as it emerges under the effect of light, recording its luminous fluidity to create the tangible body of the image that asserts itself before our eyes.

The notions of “teaching body,” “apprentice,” “proof,” “workshop” and “repertoire” in the works’ titles best define the undercurrent of research centred on experimentation and the image-inventing process. Spectral silhouettes, rotating bodies, effects of transparency and opacity, fleeting and sustained glows in rays of light, multiple temporal effects and sound presences fuelled by the arsenal of technology all create a fascinating merry-go-round that cannot fail to intrigue the gaze and renew our unquenched thirst for the image.


A comprehensive catalogue with more than sixty reproductions of works by the artist is in preparation. It will be the first monograph on Manon de Pauw, whose practice, despite its significance has not yet been the subject of an in-depth study and remains little documented. The book will closely reflect the content of the exhibition, while surveying the artist’s activity in the past ten years.

The Artist

Manon De Pauw lives and works Montreal. Her art has been presented in many group exhibitions, events and festivals in Canada, Europe and Latin America, for example at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2006 and 2008), the Centro Nacional de las artes in Mexico City (2006), g39 gallery in Cardiff, U.K. (2005), and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (2004). Among her solo exhibitions have been those at Optica and La Chambre Blanche (in collaboration with Michel Laforest) in 2006, the Centre d’exposition Expression in Saint-Hyacinthe (2005), the gallery Sylviane Poirier art contemporain (2004) and DARE-DARE (2003). Agraduate of UQAM’s École des arts visuels et médiatiques, Manon De Pauw teaches photography at Concordia University.

Website of Manon De Pauw:

The Curator

Curator, writer, publisher and teacher of museology and art history, Louise Déry holds a doctorate in art history (1991). She has been the director of the Galerie de l’Université du Québec à Montréal since 1997. Before that, she was curator of contemporary art at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Montreal Museum of Fine arts, and was director of the Musée régional de Rimouski. Since the 1990s, she has worked directly with a many artists, published nearly fifty exhibition catalogues and contributed to promoting the work of David Altmejd, as commissioner of the Canadian Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale. In 2007, she won the first Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art, in recognition of the high standards of her contribution as an exhibition curator in Canada.