An installation by bertille bak & charles-henry fertin.
Xippas Gallery is happy to invite Bertille Bak to occupy the venue under the glass roof. Bertille Bak’s work draws on the communities she has visited, and has observed the rituals, the gestures, the objects, which she in turn uses in her projects. Much like an ethnographer preoccupied by social conditions, she collects and archives the documents and testimonies of these populations with burlesque humor and melancholic scorn, without ever sacrificing her documentary aesthetic or making any direct claims.
This project, shown at the Xippas Gallery, intermingles the work she produced with Charles-Henry Fertin: it is based on the notion of space and its construction, deconstruction, and prolongation. The walls of the exhibition have been cut, stamped, carved, probed, and modified. The artists show the process of altering the space with a machine: they reveal its path as well as its product. The machineSurligneur (Highlighter), built in 2010, stitches the line of the horizon on the wall. It shows a space outside the walls, a sort of open space behind the closed walls. As for the piece Etat des lieux (Condition Report 2011), it also merges with the exhibition venue, prolonging the memory of the past exhibitions by including the holes left from previous pieces.
Robe (Dress), the first collaboration between Bertille Bak and Charles-Henry Fertin, is an electromechanical device that restructures an ordinary, red brick construction into a mining village over the entire course of the exhibition. It consists of transporting into the gallery the serial architecture of miner’s houses and saturating the space. By transposing this dated aesthetic, doomed to disappear, Bertille Bak and Charles-Henry Fertin preserve its memory and grant it the value of cultural heritage. Observing the impression on a wall that is part of a building reminds us that we observe history as it is happening, and that it is full of references. Bertille Bak and Charles-Henry Fertin dress and invade a polished Parisian space though its architecture and, thus, through its symbol of a social and cultural site.
Born in 1983, Bertille Bak lives and works in Paris. She recently took part to several exhibitions in places such as La Maison Rouge and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris or the Mac-Val. She is going to take part to the Triennale at Palais de Tokyo (April 19-May 28) and to the September show at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (September-December). Bertille Bak is also represented by Nettie Horn Gallery in London (upcoming show in May).