For several years now, Elodie Bernard has been sharing and disseminating contemporary art with intelligence for a continually expanding public on her site Regard|B. The young curator has successfully curated multiple prestigious personal and collaborative projects, and the list continues to grow!
It was on the occasion of a visit to Brussels, mixing venues for popular culture, French fries and contemporary art, that we sketched a portrait of Elodie, whose curatorial selection already looks promising.
Where does this passion for art come from ?
It certainly took root in my youth, even though I don’t come from a family where art was very present. I had numerous experiences that woke, nourished and developed my sensitivity. Also, I continue to develop this sensitivity every time I visit an exhibit or artist’s studio, at each lecture, concert, film and every theatre play that I attend.
What is your background ?
I have a Master’s in Art. I continued my education with a year studying at the Tartu Korgem Kunstikull in Estonia. It was during this year of studying at an art school that I realised that practicing art and producing works did not interest me. I preferred to present the works of the students who were in my class. It was in Estonia that I realised my first steps as an exhibit commissioner. Since 2015, I have been writing texts to disseminate on my site Regardb.com, as well as for exhibit venues, for artists or for magazines. Essentially, I am interested in emerging creations.
What were the important encounters that crossed your path ?
All of them! I sincerely believe that each encounter is important. Each of them, is enriching and constructive in its way. Both at a small regional art space and at major international fairs.
Is your website Regard|B in some way a synthesis of your history ?
Maybe it’s only starting! I worked on it for a year before putting it on line in 2015. The idea of Regard|B was first simply to talk about the exhibits I was visiting while retaining the critical aspect, that is to say, to make a real selection of exhibits, works and artists to defend and to promote. It was also a way to give the readers a desire to go see the exhibits. Today it is a bit more. It allows me to bring together, in addition to the normal content, my personal work as exhibit commissioner and columnist.
Future projects that you would like to share ?
Yes, there are many and particularly one that I hold very dear. That is Living Cube. This is an exhibit/private sale in the living room of my apartment. The concept is not new, but it allows me, at my own scale and in Orleans, to present and sell works by artists whose work is promising and which particularly moves me. With Living Cube, the relationship with the work is different, closer. One is able to relate to them in a more intimate setting than in the universe of a gallery. The works are presented in my day-to-day space and one is able to connect with them more easily. And then, I like the discussions that this type of project promotes. It is a real pleasure!
What was the last exhibit that impressed you ?
Shut the Fuck Up an exhibit that presented the works of Hippolyte Hentgen with regard to a well-known video by General Idea at La Box, an art space in Bourges in the Centre region. In this video from 1985, the group took up extracts from fictional films, documentaries or performance videos, alternating with passages where they spoke directly into the camera. It was on the basis of this work that the duo Hippolyte Hentgen composed and presented very beautiful tapestries hung throughout the entire space and several large drawings. I really loved the way in which the duo questions the relationship to media and the impact that this can have on creation.
Explain for us the directions you are taking in your curatorial selection for La peau de l’ours.
For this first collaboration, I have chosen to present the work of three young French artists whose work I have been following for several years now. The artistic process of each of them embraces everything that I love in contemporary creation. Gwendoline Perrigueux, a young Parisian artist, realises sculptures that are like an explosion of positive waves. But what affects me the most is the aspect that is both crude and sensual that her works give off. Julie Susset, a young painter recently settled in the South of France, creates images of landscapes that she invents, in paintings that are always very colourful with a gesture that is loaded with expressiveness. And to conclude this first selection, Antoine Goudard, a young French artist who has been working in Switzerland for several years and whose work completely re-invents the manner of addressing questions of identity, the relationship to the body and its transformations in a practice that is deliberately delicate and minimal. A real jewel!
Photos : Miles Fischler