This exhibition is part of Exporama.

In the exhibition L’île de la résidence (The Island of the Residency), Anne Brégeaut deploys her universe in a series of pre-existing paintings and new works, into which are inserted excerpts from the eponymous novel, focusing on the relationship to the landscape and the feelings of the characters. The exhibition lets a common atmosphere shines through the paintings and the story, and explores the question of the creative process, the way in which the narrative forms a space, as well as, more broadly, the question of fiction in curating.

Filled with colorful landscapes, animals or rare stylized characters evolving in strange narrative scenes, the work of Anne Brégeaut leaves much to interpretation. Her series Mes insomnies (My insomnia) is paradoxically similar to images and stories that seem to be extracted from dreams, in a psychoanalytical dimension. The painting, dense and rhythmical, covers the entire surface of each canvas, which offers alternately close-up views where no horizon line appears, distant and distanced glances, or bird’s-eye views whose height emphasizes the strangeness of the scenes. Small in size, these works require, like a text, to come closer, creating a proximity, an intimacy, a sphere of attention favorable to the observation.

L’île de la résidence is a fictional text whose story takes place during a residency in the mountains where four artists are invited to live and work in a small village called Nie. They meet there and discover this environment, from what they are told and what is hidden from them. In the same time, their works are created, with the stages of research and production, the discussions and approvals, as well as the different phases of doubt and flashes of insight they go through. Thus their personal histories and those of the territory merge, before reaching their climax. From that moment on, everything gets out of control.

In the exhibition, the excerpts from the novel recompose a fragmented reading whose narrative is consequently incomplete, emphasizing the importance of the reader’s ability to complete it as he or she wishes.

The book edition takes the counterpoint of the exhibition by including a selection of Anne Brégeaut’s paintings.

Avoiding the illustration of the text by the paintings, and the commentary on the paintings by the text, the exhibition presents a third possibility, where text and images suggest a possible interpretation of each other. It is thus on a thin line, in a fragile balance, that these two axis meet, intertwine and complete each other while preserving their autonomy, respecting the form of each, in a simple display.

Together, the paintings and the text form a line that runs at the level of the eyes, and that can be followed in either direction or randomly. They are presented on a mauve background that also appears in the book edition. This mixed, almost unreal color, in the way sunsets can sometimes appear naturally chemical, covers the walls, constituting a background that links the works and the text. Vibrant, slightly hallucinatory, this improbable color refers to a dimension present in the works that it contains and carries, leaving room for what we do not understand, for what we do not control. And it is perhaps a certain celebration of doubt that gathers these different elements in the exhibition: that of the artist in her creative process, that of the person facing what he or she sees, reads, perceives. A productive, fertile doubt, which questions and lets personal projections appear.

Anne Langlois

On the occasion of this exhibition, L’île de la résidence is published, including paintings by Anne Brégeaut. More information here.

Opening on Friday, May 20, 2022, at 6 pm. On the same day, La Criée centre for contemprary art invites you à 6:30 pm at the opening of the exhibition The Canticle of the Birds (Le Cantique des oiseaux) by Katia Kameli.