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Elodie Bernard

Curator

Artsper met with Elodie Bernard, a curator, artistic director and freelance writer who is passionate about contemporary art and emerging artists and who traces her own career in the world of art.

You describe yourself as wearing many hats, what roles do you play?

I’m curator, I write texts for artists, galleries and different magazines, newspapers and blogs. In addition to these activities, I teach art, lead workshops at art schools, do athletics and am a very frequent museum-goer!

Where does your passion for art come from?

I only found my passion quite late, when I discovered the visual arts and contemporary dance. It became clear to me that art was the thing to me during my first visit to the Pompidou Centre, as part of a school trip. I was amazed, first of all by the building, but especially by what there was to see. Time flew and when we had to leave I had impression of having seen only three or four works, it was this feeling of frustration that made me want to back as soon as I had the chance.

Your favourite exhibition?

The exhibition that had the greatest impact and of which I still have a very fond memory of, is the Philippe Parreno’s carte blanche in 2013 at the Palais de Tokyo, “Anywhere, anywhere out of the world”. I was taken aback by the accuracy of the proposal, the immersive side of the works and the way he played with the spaces. A real feat when you know how immense the space is.

But if I had to choose one from 2018, I would say without hesitation, SCULPTING (Making in the Workshop), a collective exhibition that presented a rich and eclectic panorama of contemporary sculpture with works by established and emerging artists such as Pierre Ardouvin, Richard Fauguet, Elisabeth Ballet, Dewar & Gicquel or Samir Mougas, Aurélie Ferruel and Florentine Guédon. The exhibition was held in three emblematic places in Rennes, La Criée, Frac Bretagne and the Museum of Fine Arts. A really wonderful show!

Your favourite emerging artists?

I’m passionate about emerging art and artists. A new generation of artists is emerging, who are full of energy and who create works of great truth. At the moment I am following the work of Florian Viel, it is very coluorful, his pieces confront us to our stereotypical images of exoticism, he describes himself as a "tropicool" artist. Then there is Zach Reini, a painter from Denver (USA), whom I discovered during a gallery visit in Brussels. His paintings mix American popular images, tattoos and expressive pictorial and mechanical gestures. Thomas Wattebled, questions the place of Man in a society where performance is king through his multidisciplinary practice. I am also very attached to the work of Antoine Goudard, a young artist based in Switzerland, who is fascinated by the issues of sublimation, bodies and identity. And finally, Gwendoline Perrigueux, with whom I've working with a while now and who will present her first solo exhibition on February 2 at Galerie Éric Mouchet, it’s one that is not to be missed.

What is the most important part of your role as a curator?

Exchanging with and talking to the artists. In my opinion, this is the most important part of the curator’s job, it allows me to really grasp the nature of their practice, not to misinterpret the work and to showcase the best works.

What is Living Cube? Where does this idea come from?

LIVING CUBE is an exhibition conceived as an ephemeral collection of art works presented in the living room of my apartment in Orleans. The exhibition takes place once a year in October / November and lasts three weeks, this year was the second edition. The concept isn’t new, but I wanted, at my level, to present the work of artists I support, in a different context and format to the traditional gallery show or exhibition. It’s a way of combining everything that is important for me: seeing, discovering, sharing and exchanging thoughts around the works.

In your opinion, what role do collectors have to play in the world of art?

Collectors have an important role to play in the art world. By buying from artists, they show their confidence in them and demonstrating their commitment to supporting and spreading their work. This can have a very significant impact.

What is the best way of encouraging young artists?

By going to see their exhibitions with your own eyes. And why not take the plunge and buying an artwork, because living with artworks completely changes our daily life and our relationship to the world.

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