Yann Pocreau

Chloé Grondeau
  • Yann Pocreau, Ampoules, 2016. Photo: Louis-Philippe Côté, Galerie de l'UQAM
  • Yann Pocreau, La chambre, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal
  • Yann Pocreau, recipe cards from the cafeteria kitchens of the Hôtel-Dieu-de-Montréal hospital, 2016.
  • Yann Pocreau, recipe cards from the cafeteria kitchens of the Hôtel-Dieu-de-Montréal hospital, 2016.
  • Yann Pocreau, recipe cards from the cafeteria kitchens of the Hôtel-Dieu-de-Montréal hospital, 2016.
  • Yann Pocreau, Mémoires, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal
  • Yann Pocreau, Mémoires, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal
  • Yann Pocreau, Mémoires, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal
  • Yann Pocreau, Portrait d'Auriette Breton, 2016. Photo: Paul Litherland

In 2013, Yann Pocreau began developing a process book in connection with the dismantling of Hôpital Saint-Luc and the construction of the new mega-hospital, the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). From the outset, in a context that would normally tend toward sculpture or photography, this ambitious proposal involved a desire for additional, exhibitory deployments. Pocreau therefore developed the formal ramifications of the project in Patrimoines, which he presented at Galerie de l’UQAM in 2016. Connecting the individual and the collective, he conceives the hospital as the locus of a symbolic and human legacy of great value — a heritage building that, seemingly disembodied, turns out to be a custodian and repository of memory(ies).

Many voices are to be heard in Patrimoines, which inaugurated Pocreau’s interest in the narrative potential of light as an actantial contributor to the sense of place. Engaging each other here are, among others, 772 light bulbs representing the number of rooms at Saint-Luc, some of which come from the building itself (La lumière/le temps); a room reconstructed on a 1:1 scale and composed of various materials (walls, furniture, objects) culled from the building (La chambre); and, projected as slides, official and historical shots of the hospital alternating with personal images taken from the photographs and photo album belonging to the artist’s mother, currently a patient in the institution (Mémoires). A shedding of collective memorial light works its way into several pieces that were conceived in collaboration. For instance, filmmaker Anna Lupien took part in developing the film Portrait d’Auriette Breton, the one animated human presence that disturbs this “silent” moment.

In Patrimoines, Pocreau extracts both material and immaterial elements from a site destined to disappear in order to present its lineaments within an exhibition space. In its very “flesh,” the hospital becomes a field of exploration for the artist, a material that allows him to facilitate an encounter between active subjectivities and historically situated materials, which he remodels so as to bring out the asperities that disguise our connections with that which — or those who — disappear(s).

Translated from the French by Ron Ross

Complete captions

Image 1: Yann Pocreau, Ampoules, 2016, details of the exhibition Patrimoines, Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal, 2016. Photo: Louis-Philippe Côté, Galerie de l'UQAM, courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal

Image 2: Yann Pocreau, La chambre, 2016, details of the exhibition Patrimoines, Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal

Image 3, 4 et 5: Yann Pocreau, recipe cards from the cafeteria kitchens of the Hôtel-Dieu-de-Montréal hospital, 2016. Photos: courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal

Image 6, 7 et 8: Yann Pocreau, Mémoires, 2016, details of the exhibition Patrimoines, Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal, 2016. Photos: courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal

Image 9: Yann Pocreau, Portrait d'Auriette Breton, with the collaboration of Anna Lupien, installation view, Patrimoines, Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal, 2016. Photo: Paul Litherland, courtesy of the artist & Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal

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