Isabelle Pauwels

It's like another planet put together in a very simple, easy to understand language.

Videos, texts, info about art works by Isabelle Pauwels.

Below is photo documentation of various installations/ projects going back to 2008.

To view the videos themselves, or for more description about the works —what are they are about?— see the VIDEO LINKS page.

If It Bleeds: Production shots (2017)

Some of the sights, July/Aug 2017. Photos by Mick Bello/EMPAC.

and some more…


,000, 2d version: gallery installations

The 2d version of ,000, has been in two group shows at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art  Gallery, Montreal: I’d Rather Something Ambiguous. Mais Précis à la fois (2016) and Qui Parle? / Who Speaks? (2018). They’re barely “installations—” they’re both blackbox setups— but we all know the second you put something in the gallery it becomes an installation… The Qui Parle? version with the larger room & re-arrangeable seating is the best version— though it doesn’t photograph as well. 2016 version (with the word Primary Custody) by: Paul Litherland. The other photos by: Paul Litherland/Studio Lux. All courtesy of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.


,000, (multimedia version, 2014)

,000, was performed twice on October 30, 2014. The multimedia installation includes: 27 channels of audio (the speakers are set up in various parts of the room), 9 channels of video ( one large projection screen and a circle of 8 monitors), timed lights, sculptures, and a live audience. The documentation below shows different parts of the set, and some video stills (the graphic images). See the VIDEO LINKS page for a 6 min. excerpt of the performance, with audience present. The performance was commissioned by EMPAC / Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Additional funding by the BC Arts Council.

Install shots by: Eileen Krywinski & EMPAC.


W.E.S.T.E.R.N. & JUNE 30

W.E.S.T.E.R.N. is sometimes paired with June 30 (their soundtracks compete with each other). June 30 is always projected directly onto a wall. W.E.S.T.E.R.N. comes as an exotic or a suburban version, both equally generic. The exotic version is a palm frond hut, with the video projected onto a piece of drywall sticking out of the hut. In the suburban version, the video is projected at an angle onto the back of a vinyl-sided wall. Neither version has any seating, because the gallery visitor wasn’t meant to watch the video from start to finish. The installations often included a photo series, which I didn’t focus on here.

Above: W.E.S.T.E.R.N. installed at National Gallery of Canada, for the group show Storytelling. 2013-14. Photos courtesy of National Gallery of Canada— don’t know the name of the photographer.


Above: Original Installation of W.E.S.T.E.R.N. (paired with June 30) at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle WA. for the exhibition Incredibly, unbelievably / The complete ordered field. 2010. Photos by Richard Nicoll.

Above: W.E.S.T.E.R.N. & June 30 installed in The Distance Between You and Me: 3 Artists from Vancouver, Los Angeles and Guadalajara, exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 2011. Photos by Rachel Topham.

Above: W.E.S.T.E.R.N. and Eddie (2006, on the monitor) installed together in a topless double hut, at the Power Plant, Toronto, for the 2011 group exhibition The Plot. Photos by; Toni Hafkenscheid.


B and E

Documentation of video installation at the old Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, 2009. This exhibition paired B&E (in the East gallery) and B-----+----+----+-----E (in the West gallery). The screening rooms are separated by the middle gallery, which is brightly lit and empty except for two potted plants and a bench (and the gallery’s bookstore, out of the frame to the left). Photos by: Erik Hood.

The first series of photos below shows the middle gallery (just the first photo). and then it goes into the East Gallery with the B&E video. The certificates outside the room are my grandfather’s certifications related to his job as an agronomist in the Belgian Congo during the 1950’s. The visitor walks into a lit room, with chairs and a pull down screen. Upon request, the gallery attendant will pull down the screen, turn off the lights, and start the video.

The photos below show the B-----+----+----+-----E video. It plays on auto-repeat in a darkened room behind the steel door. The video is playing off a VHS cassette chopped down to about 13 minutes and 30 seconds. When it hits the end, there’s a brief moment of snow, then blue screen, as it audibly rewinds, then start up again (the deck is set to auto-repeat).

B&E has been exhibited separately, usually in group shows. In those other shows, it just plays on a loop— you don’t need to ask an attendant to start it up. Grandpa’s certifications are usually not shown. B-----+----+----+-----E has only been installed this once. The dialogue between the porn flick and the home movie at Presentation House makes this one of my favourite installations of my work.


Triple Bill

Two different installs of Triple Bill, both with the ‘pocket theatre’ aesthetic (inspired by fly-by-night porno screenings). The photo by Blaine Campbell (with the monkeys) is from the original install at Artspeak, Vancouver, in 2008. The other is by Toni Hafkenscheid, at the Blackwood Gallery in Mississauga, 2008.


The Embellishers

The Embellishers installed at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, fpr the group exhibition eXponential Future, 2008. The room was constructed like a film set (the walls were door skin on 1x4’s, maybe some 2x4’s for safety— or some very flimsy material like that). Note the white plinth vs the landlord beige walls! Photo by: Howard Ursuliak.