Born in 1983 in Arras, France, Bertille Bak lives and works in Paris.
Dedicated to observing societies and to the accurate analysis of a site, Bertille Bak delves into communities and the groups by examining their rituals, gestures, and objects, which she later uses in her projects. In collaboration with the individuals she meets, she constructs narratives between fiction and documentaries where poetry and utopias usurp the simple assessment of a situation. Whether it concerns her own community in the mining areas of Northern France or groups that are unfamiliar to her, she never chooses to distance herself or look on from afar. On the contrary, it is all about sharing a passage of life, a struggle, a resistance. Understanding the organization between individuals, listing their personal and collective histories, traditions and folklores, their hobbies and revolts is central to the work of Bertille Bak. No matter what the project, Bertille Bak develops a work focused on the collective with mankind at its heart. Her work believes in the possibility of inventing together different ways of approaching and appreciating reality.
In 2023, Bertille Bak is nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize. The exhibition of the nominees takes place at the Centre Pompidou in Paris until January 8, 2024. The finalist will be announced on October 16, 2023.
In 2010 Bertille Bak was a Edward Steichen Prize laureate (Luxemburg) and in 2013 she was nominated for the Meurice Prize. In 2019, she was awarded the Mario Merz Prize, Art Section (Torino). During 2019-2020 she was artist in residency at Fondation Pinault, Lens (France).
Different institutions have organized solo exhibitions of her work : Jeu de Paume (upcoming in February 2024), Louvre-Lens (2023), Merz Foundation in Torino (2022), la Criée, Rennes (2022), Le Cyclop de Jean Tinguely, Milly-la-Forêt (2019), FRAC PACA, Marseille, France (2017), Le Grand Cafe St-Nazaire, France (2014), le Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris (2012), le Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val de Marne à Ivry (2011).
Her work is part of following collections : Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, FNAC-CNAP, FMAC in Paris, FRAC Rhône-Alpes, FRAC Aquitaine, FRAC Alsace, FRAC Basse Normandie, FRAC Limousin, Neuflize Collection, François Pinault Collection, Artis, the Centre Georges Pompidou, MNAM/CCI, the Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la création, among others.
News and events
Bertille Bak’s ‘Living Painting’ About Child Laborers Strikes a Chord at Art Basel in Paris by Sarah Belmont for ArtNews