Yann Pocreau. Patrimoines

Under Galerie de l'UQAM's residency program

Artist: Yann Pocreau

August 30, 2016 - October 8, 2016

Opening: September 6, 2016, 5:30 pm

The Galerie de l’UQAM opens its 2016-17 program with the exhibition Patrimoines by artist Yann Pocreau. The fruit of work carried out under a summer residency at the Galerie de l’UQAM, Patrimoines takes as a starting point the construction of the new Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) in place of the Hôpital Saint-Luc. The resulting project is a dialogue between tangible and intangible heritage, artworks and objects, stories and artifacts. It raises questions about art and health, memory, light and their impact on our well-being.

In order to explore the ideas raised by the exhibition, the Galerie de l’UQAM developed a program of events including a round table, a student forum and two tours of the exhibition with the artist.

The exhibition

Over the past two years, Yann Pocreau has had a unique opportunity to witness the construction of the new Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). Under the integration of art and architecture program, he has been developing a process-driven work there that will culminate in 2020 in the form of a book. Meanwhile, over the past two years, the artist has also been accompanying his mother on her visits to the CHUM, where she is being treated for dementia. In the dual situation that has become his day-to-day reality, one thing has emerged clearly: the imperative to reflect, as an artist, on the hospital environment and the notions of heritage it conjures. The starting point of this exhibition is the disappearance of the existing Hôpital Saint-Luc, a component of the CHUM that will soon be replaced by a new building. Hospital architecture is part of the project’s theme, but its main focus is our sometimes paradoxical attachment to these places that shape our lives and our relationships to birth, health and death – and, above all, to the friends and relations who at some point we are obliged by love to chaperone, often repeatedly.

The exhibition Patrimoines presents two new installations composed of recycled elements taken from the Hôpital Saint-Luc, including part of a hospital room, light bulbs, furniture, a few other artifacts and photographs. The exhibition is the product of a residency at the Galerie de l’UQAM, lengthy discussions, fascinating encounters and a number of collaborations. For example, Marie-Charlotte Franco, a doctoral candidate in museology, and her team have provided a historical account of the tangible and intangible heritage of our hospitals, while the artist and filmmaker Anna Lupien has joined Pocreau as co-director of a video portrait of the highly inspiring Auriette Breton, head nurse and doyenne of the Saint-Luc staff. This exhibition, which precedes the inauguration of the new CHUM, will nourish a collective reflection on the symbolic significance of the hospital milieu and the human relations it invokes.

The artist

Born in Québec in 1980, Yann Pocreau lives and works in Montréal. Through photography, he has become interested in the strong presence of place, light and subject, their intimate cohabitation, and their effect on the narrative framework of the images. His solo exhibitions include Sur les lieux, a project in two parts hosted by Expression – Centre d’exposition de Saint-Hyacinthe (2015-16) and by the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides (2016); Croisements at Vu photo (2014) and Projections at the Darling Foundry (2013). He took part in numerous group exhibitions, including Lumens at the Musée régional de Rimouski (2016); Québec Gold at the Palais du Tau, Reims (2008); Out of Grace at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery (2010); Lucidity – Inward views at the Mois de la Photo à Montréal (2011); Under the Radar – The New Visionaries at Guided by Invoices, New York (2012), Paperwork at the Flux Factory, New York (2013) and Sinopale 5 – Sinop Biennale, Turkey (2014). He was part of three exhibtions by the Galerie de l’UQAM: Basculer (2007), Expansion (2010) and À Montréal, quand l’image rôde, presented at the Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains in Tourcoing (2013). His work has been documented in a variety of publications (CV, Canadian Art, Spirale, OVNI, Next Level-UK, etc.) and is featured in the collections of the National Bank of Canada, Hydro-Québec, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art de Joliette, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec’s Prêt d’œuvres d’art, the City of Montréal’s collection and in several private collections. Until 2014, he was the general coordinator at the Clark Center in Montréal and has been, since 2013, president of the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ). He is represented by Galerie Simon Blais in Montréal.

The residency program

Since 2009, the Galerie de l’UQAM has extended an invitation to artists in residence. This biennial formula allows an artist to work in the Galerie spaces for an entire summer and exhibit the results at the start of fall programming. The program comes under the mandate of the institution, which seeks to give artists the means to develop important research projects. It is possible to see the outcome of the three previous residencies: David Spriggs in 2009, Stéphane Gilot in 2011 and Michael Blum in 2014.

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