Exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts brings together new works by Yann Pocreau

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Exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts brings together new works by Yann Pocreau
Yann Pocreau (born in 1980), Impermanencies 01, 2017, digital prints, 84 x 102 cm. Collection of the artist.

MONTREAL.- Well known for his photography, multidisciplinary artist Yann Pocreau has for a number of years been keenly interested in light and its many manifestations. The exhibition Impermanencies, presented at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, brings together new works by Pocreau that offer a poetic reflection on time, the cosmos and photography.

Impermanencies is the culmination of an MMFA-sponsored residency the artist completed at the Darling Foundry from 2016 to 2018 as well as a research stint conducted at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory in 2018, during which he studied the universe and its phenomena. The exhibition offers a metaphorical expression of Pocreau’s recent musings and the existential questions that astronomy and an observation of the stars naturally inspire.

The first gallery features cyanotypes exposed to sunlight and moonlight, lumen prints, photographs and Solar Radius, an in situ installation composed of polished brass tubes. In the second gallery, a slide projection depicting the rising and setting of the moon accompanies photographic portraits the artist gathered from various flea markets in Canada and elsewhere. Extremely fashionable in the late 19th century, these cabinet cards attest to Pocreau’s interest in the found image. The artist perforated the photos and embroidered them to represent the 88 constellations recognized today.

“For Pocreau, these works offer a way for us to explore our intimate connection with the infinitely large and the infinitely small, and to express our very human compulsion to leave a trace of ourselves through photography. They evoke questions relating to memory and the enduring quality of objects. They are scintillating openings through which, for the time of an exhibition, we can defy our impermanency,” explains Sylvie Lacerte, guest curator.

Born in Quebec City in 1980, Yann Pocreau lives in Montreal. He is interested in light as a living subject, and its effect on the narrative element of images. He explores these themes through various modes of expression, such as photography, sculpture and installation art. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, including at Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles in 2019. He has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Galerie de l’UQAM, Expression, the VU centre and the Darling Foundry. His work can be found in a number of corporate, institutional and museum collections throughout the country, such as in those of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art de Joliette, the Galerie de l’UQAM, National Bank, Desjardins and Hydro-Québec.

The year 2021 promises to be very busy for Yann Pocreau. In addition to his exhibition at the MMFA, in the coming months, he will have solo exhibitions at the Galerie Blouin Division and the Musée régional de Rimouski. Meanwhile, he is working on the finishing touches of an artist book based on Œuvre processus, a project carried out on the construction site of the new CHUM hospital, as part of the Quebec government’s Politique d’intégration des arts à l’architecture, commonly known as the “1% Policy.” Finally, his monumental steel sculpture Leurs effigies, in tribute to Jeanne Mance, Marguerite Bourgeoys and Marguerite d’Youville, will be installed this summer at the Grand Quay of the Port of Montreal. This is the artist’s sixth public art work.

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