Fantasmes colorés

Yann Pocreau


Opening night on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 from 7PM to 11PM.

On the occasion of this event, artist Laurence Broydé, in cross-residency with the Lieu Unique (Nantes) and in partnership with the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, will present her end-of-residency project.

Music by DJ oh jay

Free entrance
Cash bar — Card only
Free parking

Fantasmes colorés (Coloured Fantasies) can be grasped as a visual delight; an exhibition of Yann Pocreau's photographic thinking. Through his most recent body of work currently being shown at AXENÉO7, the artist continues his exploration of artificial and natural light, as well as the affects they evoke. It is about the expectations we have of the images we observe in order to find ourselves in them and, what's more, to imagine ourselves in them. In fact, the artist's installation in this place draws its inspiration from a median interstice, somewhere between the rational—and irrational—of his experimentations in capturing the materiality of light, the reworking of his photographic gestures and knowledge, and the sensible reconfiguration of his imaginaries.


In the exhibition, a site-specific light intervention is in resonance with a series of vernacular photographs and a film work with voluptuous echoes. Each of AXENÉO7 rooms is an illusory interval with unsuspected transitory states. Light appears and disappears at once; clarity arises, sometimes, through darkness, opacity and emptiness. Pocreau fantasizes the beauty of coloured light; its ineffable materiality, its vibrant presence, its iridescent reflections, its intermittent reverberation effects, like  scintillating bodily particles. The evanescent propositions momentarily transform the neutrality of the artist-run centre's white cubes, imbuing them with sensibility and generating an immersion in which spectators let themselves to be very gently carried away. Via its experiential dimension the exhibition spreads beyond spatial confines; in the manner of an (un)limited multisensory shift.


In the first room one encounters Fantasmes colorés (Coloured Fantasies (the beaches)), a series of illuminated photographs made with archetypal images of landscapes displayed on a threadlike architectural device. The views are taken from slides gleaned from various online auction sites or flea markets. Pocreau's interest for the found image remains indisputable. Inherent to the artist's visual vocabulary, the coloured filters— saturated to excess—superimposed on the prints by means of various digital processes, act as emotional triggers. The reading of the images is no longer the same. The proposal also embraces the artistic tradition of the landscape, within which concentrated colors and their perception generate an endless investigation. La percée (The Breach) is mounted in the window, it consists of gelatine that stimulates the circumference of the sun and reflects a diffracted light. Softly, form and function enter into tension.


In the ensuing space, plunged into an almost absolute darkness, Pocreau presents, Ce qu'il en reste (What Remains), a luminous intervention of an imposing volatility. Four uprights formally evoking the structural components of the gallery project spectral glows of fluctuating intensity on the walls. By way of a program, the colours projected in the room are taken from the images of idyllic beaches that we previously saw in the exhibition. All that remains is for these reminiscences to be given their coloured content. In the rhythmic cube, the indefinite colours are juxtaposed infinitely in idealized auroras.


In the Jean-Pierre Latour room, the film La chair lumineuse (The Luminous Flesh) shows a selection of scenes from erotico-pornographic films from the 1950s and 1960s. The sequences unfold accompanied by light effects that reduce visual referents, favouring the power of suggestion in the contemplative act and inviting reflection on the preconceived ideas of desire, seduction and sexuality. From one side to the other of the stripped—and fragmented—bodies, only the elusive contours of their gestures appear delicately. As viewers, we are thus better placed to observe the subtleties of desire. We are captivated by the sensual silhouettes, by the evidence of their imprecision. The gestures in emulsion become an optical language to be translated by the eye. For the occasion, the windows of the gallery have been obstructed with partitions in order to limit the outside light entering the interior and, therefore, to simulate an impression of intimacy. However, a constellation of small fissures lets in a few light rays. The medium of choice of Yann Pocreau, photography, is thus laid bare.


Fantasmes colorés (Coloured Fantasies) awaken our desire for light. We interpret this matter differently. Like attractive corporalities, the works of the corpus generate desires and solicit persistent sensations that awaken feeling.


— Jean-Michel Quirion, curator

Yann Pocreau

Yann Pocreau was born in Quebec City in 1980. In his recent research, through different types of mediums including photography, sculpture and installation, he is interested in light as a living subject and its effect on the narrative of images. He has participated in several Canadian, American and European exhibitions, most recently at the Rencontres photographiques d'Arles and the at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. His work has been reviewed in various magazines and his works are present in the collections of the National Bank of Canada, Hydro-Québec, Desjardins, the City of Montreal, the City of Longueuil, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the Musée d’art de Joliette, the Galerie de l'UQAM, and in the Prêt d'œuvres d'art collection of the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec. He is represented by the Galerie Blouin Division in Tiohtiá:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal where he lives and works.

Jean-Michel Quirion

Jean-Michel Quirion holds a Master's degree in museology from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) and is currently a doctoral candidate in museology at the same university. A cultural worker for the past ten years, he was until recently the director of the AXENÉO7 artist-run centre in Gatineau. He is now the general director - programming at the Centre d'art et de diffusion CLARK located in Montreal. As an author, he regularly contributes to specialized magazines such as Ciel variable, ESPACE art actuel, Esse arts + opinions, Inter art actuel and Vie des arts. His curatorial projects have been shown at Galerie UQO (2018) in Gatineau, Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG) in Ottawa (2022), DRAC - Art actuel Drummondville (2022) and Œil de Poisson (2022) in Quebec City. He is also involved in the research group Collections et impératif évènementiel/The Convulsive Collections (CIÉCO) since 2015.


The artist would like to thank the extraordinary team at AXENÉO7 for the invite and for their enthusiasm for this project from the beginning. Thanks also to Jean-Michel Quirion for his unfailing commitment, to Samuel St-Aubin, Caroline Savaria and Jean-François Gauthier for their invaluable contribution to this project. Thanks to Atelier CLARK and Martin Schop for their precision and to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec without whom this project would not have been possible. A special mention to Julien, Ayden and Emmanuelle for their daily support and love.

The curator would like to thank AXENÉO7 artist-run centre Board of Directors and its team for their immeasurable support in the production of the current exhibition. He would also like to thank the artist Yann Pocreau for his boundless trust and commitment to the project.