Yannick Pouliot

"These reconstituted visuals offer themselves as psychic, emotional and social structures in which the signs keep us near and far at the same time, in a see-saw of cultural and abstract recognition."

- 10 November, 2008

Yannick Pouliot's sculptures, photographs and installations employ the strategy of the double take. They confound the viewer's initial perception by revealing themselves as something other from what they seem. Using architecture and furniture as his raw material, Pouliot's meticulously executed domestic forms - which incorporate luxury materials and charming decorative features - become visual puns which often act as stages for social satire.

Yannick Pouliot first studied horticulture at L'institut de technologie agroalimentaires (ITA) de Saint-Hyacinthe from 1997-1999, and then switched to Fine Arts, receiving his BFA in 2001 from Université Laval.

In his work, Pouliot appropriates French neo-classical interior design as a means to explore the tensions between illusion / reality, seduction / frustration, decoration / affection. In Regency: Monomaniac (2007) Pouliot uses and alter motifs from 18th century France to further his explorations. The work consists of four look-alike Regency chairs made of mahogany ,and covered with jacquard upholstery, which operate as one single uncanny object, - thereby contradicting its normal domestic use as a functional piece. Rather than commissioning a professional to build the chairs, Pouliot enrolled in carpentry courses from 2005-2006, at Le Centre de formation professionnelle de Neufchâtel, and taught himself the upholster's craft, in order to seamlessly replicate the antique furniture. "I'm a total maniac for details ...a perfectionist by nature, but at the same time, it's never to demonstrate my technical savoir-faire," he says. "In fact it's the complete opposite - so that the labour that goes into a piece melts into the background, so that the viewer can right away jump to the next interpretive level: the work's aim."

In 2008, Pouliot produced Budbreak I: Louis XV; Budbreak II: Neo-Renaissance; Budbreak III: Louis XV and Organization IV: Eastlake a series of silhouetted portraits of French neo-classical writing desks, buffets, cabinets and a dining set, stenciled onto white paper using pure black paint. The artist explains: "Initially, silhouettes from the18th and 19th century presented images of the master of the house. In the spirit of my research, I find it equally suitable to present the material objects of a house rather than their owners, thereby giving a contemporary twist to a classical concept."

Yannick Pouliot has been exhibiting within Canada since 2002. He works in Saint-Casimir-de-Portneuf, Quebec.