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Isabelle Hayeur: Corps étranger/Foreign Body

October 21, 2017 - January 28, 2018

AWE Gallery

In Isabelle Hayeur: Corps étranger/Foreign Body, Montreal-based artist Isabelle Hayeur reveals the many ways in which a downtown urban landscape is influenced and transformed by civic politics and false hope. During a residency at La Chambre in Strasbourg, France, Hayeur witnessed, engaged with and documented three northwest neighbourhoods known for their residential nature, yet strong political affiliations: Wacken, l`Orangerie and Robertsau. Reflective of the ethics of the European Union, these three communities are expected to exemplify all forms of equality surrounding the ways in which its residents live, where they live, and how they perform acts of citizenship. But, in this body of photographs, Hayeur uncovers many opposite effects of urban renewal in a city that houses the European Parliament. For example, images of inner-city camping, overlapping skylines that blur the boundaries between rural and urban as well as abstract reflections of buildings on mirrored high rises suggest a disembodied urban space. Be they occupied by angry citizens or unregistered migrants, the invisible bodies in these urbanscapes are performing new modes of protest. In the evidence of inequality that lingers in the shadows of gentrification and renewal, the absent men and women in the images become activists who, through public interventions, are performing the effects of globalization for all to see.   

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