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Isabelle Hayeur

Silent Spring

Artist

Isabelle Hayeur
Born in Montreal in 1969

Title

Silent Spring

Date

2015

Materials

HD colour video with sound, 1/3

Dimensions

Duration: 18 min 45 s

Duration

Duration: 18 min 45 s

Credits

Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 2019.126

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Isabelle Hayeur has dedicated her latest body of work to the subject of ecology. Here, she refers to Silent Spring, the American writer Rachel Carson’s seminal book from 1962, which warned against the dangers of pesticide use and its negative impact on the environment: the work led to a nationwide ban on DDT in the United States. Every frame in Silent Spring illustrates the stealthy pollution of the waters off a tourist beach in Florida. In this stunning feat of technical prowess, scenes flow seamlessly into one another and audio tracks add sounds of waves and seagulls to strange and ominous noises. Silhouettes swim in a murky stew of toxic neon liquid, factories belch out apocalyptic black smoke, allegories of an uncertain future. The video ends as it begins, with carefree people walking along an idyllic beach.

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