The Political Nightfall, an exhibition by artist Aude Moreau which includes moving panoramas of Los Angeles and Toronto, investigates architecture with a metaphorical power that lies between reality and fiction, and between the image itself and what it recounts.
The photographic, film and sound works of Aude Moreau cast a hitherto unexampled light on the conventional North American city, with its modernist grid, its towers soaring to breathtaking heights and its illuminated logos that speak the language of multinational corporations and their prowess. Moreau embeds film in architecture, writing in glass and transparency in opacity – all visual means by which the artist directs a critical gaze on hidden issues such as the privatization of the public space and the omnipresence of economic power. In deflecting and refashioning the iconography of these often stereotypical urban images, Moreau highlights issues that dim towards a gathering political darkness.
The Political Nightfall features moving panoramas of Los Angeles and Toronto. The exhibition also includes the film The End in the Background of Hollywood (2015), which was shot by helicopter over Los Angeles, with the twin towers of the City National Plaza conveying an ominous end-of-the-world message. The video exploits the geographical interconnection of Los Angeles and Hollywood, drawing attention to the luminous presence of powerful multinational corporations in its night sky against an industry built on the creation of unreality. The starry night of the world’s film capital is also captured in several photographs depicting the city’s iconic Hollywood sign. In Less is more or (2014), the architectural faces of Mies van der Rohe’s towers in Toronto form a loop within a loop, producing an intense interplay of reflections on growth. Moreau’s thinking and observations on the city are informed by the works of artists such as Gordon Matta-Clark, Ed Ruscha and Mies Van der Rohe. By investing architecture with a metaphorical power and examining what lies between the image and what it recounts, the artist binds spectators – immersed in the texture of the images and sounds – to the endless loop generated by these mechanisms of power, and prompt them to grapple with the possibility of resulting catastrophic scenarios.
The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated monograph with essays by the curator Louise Déry and invited authors, such as Kevin Muhlen (Luxembourg) and Fabrizio Gallanti (Princeton University). It is a production of the Galerie de l’UQAM in partnership with the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, Casino Luxembourg – Forum d'art Contemporain; and The Power Plant, Toronto. It received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation.
Aude Moreau (born Gençay, France, 1969) holds a Masters in Visual Arts and Media from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and has developed a practice that encompasses her dual training in scenography and the visual arts. Moreau’s work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris (2015); galerie antoine ertaskiran, Montreal (2015); Galerie de l'UQAM, Montreal (2015); Smack Mellon, Brooklyn (2013); Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2012); Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain (2009); and the Darling Foundry, Montreal (2008). She has received awards including the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art, Montreal (2011) and the Powerhouse Prize from La Centrale, Montreal (2011). Aude Moreau lives and works in Montreal and is represented by galerie antoine ertaskiran.