In 1962, Sister Mary Corita Kent, a nun at the Convent of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles, went to the Ferus Gallery to see the famous show where Andy Warhol adopted silkscreen printing with his Campbell’s Soup series. As an artist, woman, teacher and nun, Corita could not be pigeonholed. Her silkscreen works showed a celebratory approach to consumer society, running counter to Pop art. 1962 was also the year for a great movement of openness espoused by the Church with regard to contemporary culture. In that context of emancipation, Corita appropriated the language of advertising and let color and words enjoy an explosion of freedom. Slogans, lyrics, biblical verses and authors’ quotations were all freely committed to paper in an engaged re-contextualization, indissociable from her faith, conveying values of tolerance as well as resistance to inequalities
Courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, CA
Essentially a sculptor, even if at times his research leads him to work with images, Morgan Courtois explained in a recent interview that he quickly wished to express the “potential or the pathetic part of materials” through his work. His use of plaster, clay and resin is frequently affected by disturbances which not only alter the stability of his objects, but also give them an ambiguous status, blurring the boundary between the inert and the living. Inspired not only by the rhythm but also the functional properties of flowers, the artist – who previously worked as a gardener – also creates perfumes whose compositions evoke the poetic connections of materials, events and sensations.
The exhibition “It’s All Tied Up in a Rainbow” which takes its title from the song “Beautiful Land,” performed by Nina Simone in 1965, brings together a collection of new works including photographs of public spaces and sculptures of male nudes whose poses recall both private moments and scenes of art history. The colorful spectrum evoked by the title is revealed in a new series of resin paintings framing the central display. Morgan Courtois, who readily qualifies his practice as a naturalist, explores here an affective geography of representations, influenced not only by art history but also a social history of forms.
 Entretien avec Line Ajan publié sur www.figurefigure.fr, mars 2018
The word decorative has two meanings, either generally embellishing, or more exactly ornamental.
Even though we can consider major part of art history as decorative, speaking nowadays about decorative in relation to fine art, often means a pejorative judgment in regard to some way of cheap attractiveness without complexity, taste and content.
Certain unspoken preconditions constructed in 20th century on which contemporary art still stands, share striking similarities with the roots of modern science. Art asks for the ever proclaimed independence, from market, public and politics, and the consideration of quality that is supposed to be only based on the expert view of its own ever-expanding field. This formerly liberating conditions progressively constituted an entire ideology of art, that rather than reflecting and stimulating art research, precedes it, shapes it and justifies it. In the very same manner as is the notion of the neutral form so closely linked to conceptual art, or the purity of form that serves as the firm ground for all reductive strategies since the early abstraction, this two as many other ideologies controls how art looks and is being judged and perceived.
What connects all those ideologies as a rooting axiom is nonetheless not the idea of art as rational logical activity, although it is one of the most important ones. As even its negations such as the “irrational” art brut can only exist in relation to the rationally build art history lineage, similarly to all the other binary oppositions, the inexhaustible source of rapidly accelerating movement between low and high, old and new. It is rather the general notion of good and bad art, art whose quality is not shaped by the dialectical materialism of supporting infrastructures, means of circulation and commodification, but quality that somehow transcendentally emanates from its very core. This once more resembles so closely the idea of objective truth, that the enlightenment science uninfluenced by political or economical means was experimentally supposed to discover in a laboratory, so similar to the modern exhibition space.
Nonetheless the aim of this exhibition is not to insert the decorative back into the fine art. That have been already happening many times in recurrent fashions and only served to confirm the above mentioned logic, a never ending cycle in which refusing is in consequence equal to accepting. The aim is rather to pull down the fine art back to the point of the decorative, against which it in pretence positioned itself, but on which level, as a product only allowed by the existence of different interests, it had ever remained.
Decorative in both of its senses is therefore used here as a metaphor of an attack on the proclaimed autonomy of work of art, autonomy completely constructed by supporting ideologies.
The decorative from its very notion doesn’t embellish itself, but something else. Instead of separating itself, it is capable to perform in different contexts and functions. It doesn’t hide its serving status, the different ways of utility that allows it to exist. It doesn’t aim for some sort of independent truth, but much the same as theatre, it creates a confessed lie or rather – assumed illusion, that should nevertheless not be mistaken for relativist free interpretation.
The ornamental consequently operates in gathering different elements into a larger whole. Ornamental structure is not supposedly invisible support for its parts, but creates aesthetic balance that allows us to switch between the part and the whole. Ornamental is capable of abstraction within figuration, is not scared to manipulate openly but with regard to overall meaning. Thus it once more overcomes the divide in quest for imagined purity and/or totality. In this way it also rejoins content and form, so many times in different hierarchical combinations divided.
Although some of the participating artists deals with something that can be considered decorative or ornamental by the plain sight, what deeply connects the works and artist in this exhibition is the effort to deconstruct the axioms and normatives that had been set in quest for liberation, but ended in oppression.
Decorative in this sense means not being scared of being used, or rather utilised, however not necessarily with the accent on any practical or functional dimension, that would once more constitute the rift between fine and minor arts and other hierarchies based on quality of relation. Consequently ornament as away of ordering does not constitute an ideology that is qualitatively better than the ones based on interpretation and classification, only it does not pretend to reach some sort of invisible core of things, but openly emphasize its framework operating via its own logic of intensity, rhythm and repetition.
Louidgi Beltrame’s project Mesa curandera, continues his exploration of methods of human organization throughout contemporary history. In this way, his research in film has brought him to heavily charged locations such as Hiroshima, Chandigarh or even Brasilia. Today, it is the magical rites of healers on the Peruvian desert coast that interest the artist. In 2015, he met the curandero José Levis Picon Saguma whose work inscribes itself in the continuity of Pre-Columbian healing rituals. His practice of curandero, a term which signifies “healer” in Spanish, can be included in the larger category of shamanism. During healing ceremonies, known as mesas, José Levis practices this form of vernacular medicine nearly in secret, in areas on the outskirts of towns. His most important plant is the San Pedro, a psychoactive cactus whose earliest ritual use goes back some 3000 years.
The practice of the curanderos interests Louidgi Beltrame above all as a form of post-colonial resistance. Its characteristic syncretism can be seen as an adaptive camouflage developed by the Andean population in order to survive first the Inquisition and then colonial repression. The current form of this traditional medicine is characterized by successive cultural influences that have been present in the Andean territory. Highlighting in this way the persistence of Pre-Hispanic elements related to shamanistic practices which are particularly based on the use of psychotropic plants.
In order to film these ceremonies without compromising their unfolding, Louidgi Beltrame had his camera outfitted with a specially designed infrared lens. Unlike the aesthetic of used by surveillance cameras, the pinkish hues seen here accentuate the immersive dimension of the film. The image seems strangely natural, even if we observe that the participants do not completely occupy the space in the darkness that remains abstract for the viewer.
Ce projet a été sélectionné par la commission mécénat de la Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques qui lui a apporté son soutien.
Lauréat du programme “hors les murs” de l’Institut français
Laure Mathieu’s title for her solo show in Brest invites you to travel. It evokes a fleet on the ocean nerby. One would be happy to poetically embark on a three-master and set sail for some exotic destination.
But actually, “La flotte bleue” refers to a group of aquatic species which evolves between sea and air, like a border or a filter. From their Latin names “velella velella”, “physalia phisalys” or “janthina janthina”, these little blue organisms, barely visible, float on the surface of the oceans and wander with the winds.
For the young French artist, they are as much a decor as a poetic and methodological metaphor for her project. The whole project deals with visibility (and, indeed, about invisibility) and dissemination.
Pursuing her practice of writing and fiction, the artist has chosen to address a series of anonymous letters to different persons in Brest : elected officials, laundresses, the art center’s visitors, etc. She envisions the dissemination of these letters in the urban and social space on different media as unexpected as a tram ticket or printed clothes. The letters travel in the city as the daily commute of Passerelle’s employees. Can they be read by the people of Brest? Maybe, maybe not. Still, they inhabit the city.
Their content is all about fiction or rewritten histories. Laure Mathieu refers, for instance, to Hollywood blockbuster The Conquerors (1956) by Dick Powell whose outdoor scenes were shot near US Army nuclear test sites in the Utah desert. Exposed to sandstorms laden with radioactive particles, several members of the team, including star John Wayne, were highly contaminated until they developed cancer. History of dissemination and invisibility, always.
Alexandre Lavet’s work operates in total discretion. It avoids spectacular and decorative effects, in contrast to habitual overwrought artistic production. He endeavors to make artworks that simulate the objects and other accessories that are usually present in exhibition spaces, but which we rarely really notice. Fundamentally sober and chameleon-like, his sculptures, paintings, drawings and interventions, or even his sound pieces adapt themselves to the characteristics of the space in which they act.
At the Passerelle Contemporary Art Center, Everyday, I don’t offers a seemingly empty space in which the artist stages a possible narrative for the exhibition space; a space that is waiting between installation and deinstallation. The negative impulse of the title could indeed indicate the artist’s decision to do nothing at all, which would explain this state of latent abandon. Alexandre Lavet invites us in the form of a paradox, to ask ourselves about the concept of artistic work, which is often imperceptible and difficultly quantifiable. Dispersed and fading into their environment, the artworks deploy a presence via absence, which spares us from the effect of an artwork that is too physical and voluminous and which imposes itself upon us and which demands of us a state of passivity in the face of its very existence. The artist in this way engages the visitor to make an effort to seek, to question the status of the exhibition and of the work of art, in the standardized context of exhibition spaces at the moment of a spectacular and consumerist turning point in culture.
Dans le cadre de l’aide à la création Clermont-Auvergne-Métropole
Ya Rayi is a reflection on the evolution of raï, a popular Algerian music that embodied the need for expressing the difficult living conditions and taboos in Algeria. In Arabic, raï means ‘opinion’. Through its music and textual créolité (creolity), rai is mirroring Algerian culture. It is an underground genre which has changed and mixed codes from different existing repertoires to bypass social restrictions and make what is muted heard. It is a substitute for the lack of interactions between women and men, between older and younger generations in a society silenced by morality. Questioning rai from yesterday and today is opening a reflection on what is culturally and sociably at stake in Algeria but also in contemporary Muslim society.
The protagonist is a young man with a Walkman listening to rai tapes. He is wandering, stopping by in front of Disco Maghreb shop in Oran, the historical producer of cheb and cheba. In Paris, he is idling in Barbès neighbourhood, a crucial part in rai development in the 1990s. The faint faces of rai stars Cheb Hasni and Cheikha Rimiti which appear throughout the video on old buildings evoke another temporality. However, rai tapes are still an object of desire, sold and collected in very few shops known by regular visitors. Here, rai music is a ghost, a nostalgic memory, but passion is never far: rewind, press ‘play’ and it starts all over again.
VOCODER & CAMOUFLAGE de Jonathan Uliel Saldanha
PERIPHERAL FEED d’Edouard Le Boulc’h
DIRECTING THE REAL Artists’ film and video in the 2010s by Lo Schermo dell’Arte
All year long, the education department offers mediation activities (guided tours, meetings, conferences) for adult, members or individuals, conceived as special moments of exchange, discussion about works or themes addressed in the exhibition. The works are at the heart of actions which intend the development of a critical and constructive thinking and sensitive and contextual reception.
The guided tours of the exhibitions
take place the first and third Satuday of the month, throughout the year.
These guided tours are built as an exchange time with the visitor, in order to discover the current exhibitions. Collective guided tours are possible on booking, resuming the same form.
Meetings with artists and the public
are privileged moments in which the opportunity is given to the public and artists to speak. The artists present their work during assembly, during a special opening or at an appropriate time.
T. +33(0)2 98 43 34 95
« Glances crossed »
Visitors are invited to compare two pieces of art of two Brest’s cultural centers. These rendez-vous allow visitors to compare some various artistic proposals. Most of the time, these glances are centered on complementary themes. The « Regards croisés» are organized by Passerelle, Centre d’art contemporain, the Museum of Fine Arts of Brest, the Artothèque of the Museum of Fine Arts.
The urban course
runs from april to october, the last Saturday of the month. This guided tour is a walk in the city, around the Art Center. In the form of an exchange with the mediator, the participant discover other ways to perceive the urban spaces. The urban course ends in the Art Center, in front of one or several works of art, so that participants establish links between the urban course and the works of art.
All year long, the education department offers educational and fun activities to accompany 6 to 11 years children in experiencing the latest trends in art, develop new experiences and to learn the techniques of today.
L’Atelier du Mercredi
On wednesday from 14:00 p.m to 17:00, Visual Arts workshops take place in Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain. During these workshops, children (6-11 years) can discover different ways to install a exhibition, meet the artists and improve their practice of Visual Arts while initiating to current techniques (paintings, pictures, scultpures, drawings, collages, moldings..).
Les Petites Fabriques
During school holidays, (except for Christmas holidays), Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain offers creative workshops for children (6-11 years) related to the exhibitions for four days.
T. +33(0)2 98 43 34 95
From school to university, the art center designs different programs for the pupils to react on contemporary art’s issues. These programs can be developed with the teachers.
Documentation for teachers
Teachers can ask for a specific documentation written for their use about issues and themes encountered within the exhibitions. Available at the art center front desk, it presents various details, advices and a selective bibliography. This documentation can also be downloaded from here.
These tours are developed into dialogues between the pupils and Passerelle‘s team. The opportunity is given to youngest to react to art pieces: how to look at it, describe it, analyze it…
T. +33(0)2 98 43 34 95
This workshop aims to extend the guided tour by appropriating the modes and artistic processes encountered within the exhibition. This workshop extends the concepts developed during the discovery of the body of work of various artists by practical applications, individual and collective work, and can be conducted with all school levels.
The “Zones d’augmentation” is our first educational interface deployed physically as well as on the website of the art center. At Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, a dedicated convivial area where you can drink coffee while reading daily press and documentation about exhibitions. On this web page, you are welcomed to explore the various contents to prepare your visit to the art center or to pursue the experience.
All art and documentary materials presented challenge the exhibition. Contents are discussed with the artists and can be built in partnership with art collections or libraries such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Brest, the City public library or Cinémathèque de Bretagne.
Emerging artists support program in partnership with Documents d’Artistes Bretagne
It’s often difficult for a young artist, following his graduation, to continue his practice without means, workspace and artistic or critical support.
Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain and Documents d’Artistes Bretagne put their skills and experiences together to develop les Chantiers, a program dedicated to supporting emerging artists in French Brittany region.
Les Chantiers select every year two emerging artists living and working in French Brittany region to complete a project, accompanied by professional actors. After a three months residency, the project is exhibited at Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain. Documents d’Artistes Bretagne develops a specific website to document the residence and the project.
Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain is an exchange platform between art production and its publics set up since 1988 within an exceptional industrial building of 4000 m² located in the heart of Brest. The goals of creation, mediation and diffusion Passerelle thrives for are as many collective production areas where artists and visitors contribute actively on argumentation toward what stir, build and sharpen our relationship with contemporary art.
Each year, the programme combines around 10 solo or group exhibitions featuring French and international artists, screening cycles, meetings, debates and various means of assistance for the audience in their discovery of techniques used and exhibited. Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain is also a cross-disciplinary scene exploring other fields of the contemporary creation such as design and performing arts.
Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest, géré depuis 1988 par une association d’amateurs d’arts engagés dans la vie de la ville et de la région brestoise, est situé à Saint-Martin, un quartier de Brest miraculeusement préservé par les bombardements de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.
L’exceptionnel espace architectural qui accueille aujourd’hui Passerelle a été construit entre 1946 et 1955 selon des plans s’inscrivant dans la mode de la fin des années 1930 pour le compte d’une société coopérative, L’Alliance des Travailleurs (sources : service des permis de construire de Brest métropole océane). Après l’achèvement, à la fin des années 1940, du corps central du bâtiment (sources : les Archives municipales de Brest conservent des vues aériennes montrant la grande verrière en 1950, voir ci-contre), l’édifice est complété en 1955 par l’aile – inachevée- donnant sur la rue Charles Berthelot (sources : permis de construire daté du 03 février 1955). Dès le 25 octobre 1956, cette société coopérative a fusionné avec La Léonarde, entreprise d’alimentation générale qui possédait de nombreux comptoirs de distributions dans le Nord-Finistère. Les locaux deviennent propriété de cette dernière (sources : actes notariés chez Maître Mocaër, notaire à Guipavas, Finistère). Le 11 août 1960, les locaux du 41 rue Charles Berthelot sont vendus par la coopérative La Léonarde à Monsieur Antonio Horrach, grossiste en fruits et légumes. Ce commerçant très actif, originaire de Majorque installé à Brest avant 1939, installe son dépôt dans l’édifice. Il y effectue diverses modifications dès 1961 (sources : service des permis de construire de Brest métropole océane) : installation de réfrigérateurs, aménagement d’une mûrisserie de bananes dans les sous-sols…
En juin 1971, si la société fusionne avec Muribane, un autre grossiste en fruits et légumes installé au port de commerce de Brest, Antonio Horrach reste propriétaire des locaux qui poursuivront leur activité jusqu’en juin 1972. Au cours des années suivantes, l’édifice – devenu la propriété de Madame Catherine Coat, fille d’Antonio Horrach – sera loué à diverses entreprises spécialisées en vente de meubles, parmi lesquelles Brest Meubles et BUT. Le 05 septembre 1989, le vaste édifice de la rue Berthelot est vendu par Madame Catherine Coat à la toute jeune association Passerelle (créée en 1988 dans le but de ce rachat) représentée par Serge Tanguy, son président-fondateur (sources : actes notariés chez Maître Maugendre, notaire à Brest). Dès 1991, l’association cède la propriété des lieux à la Ville de Brest. Depuis, une convention lie la ville et l’association Passerelle afin de poursuivre l’activité de diffusion de l’art contemporain.
L’édifice de Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest, construit suivant la technique de béton précontraint développé par l’ingénieur Eugène Freyssinet, dispose d’une superficie de 4000 m² à l’architecture profondément originale, composée de volumes exceptionnels. Le patio central bénéficie d’une lumière zénithale provenant d’une verrière située à plus de 12 mètres de hauteur. Dans cette ancienne friche industrielle, de nombreuses salles se déploient sous la forme de vastes espaces ou de recoins plus intimistes, parfois même labyrinthiques : grand hall, mezzanine, hangar, quai, salle de conférences, ateliers, réserves, salles des étages, sous-sols… jouant avec les ombres et les lumières, comme autant d’interactions de forces au sein d’un bloc solidaire.
Director & curator
Communication & partnerships
Group Services Assistant
Visitor information & multimedia
Pierre Le Saint
Joëlle Le Saux
And also Bruno Chevillotte, Christine Finizio, Dominique Jézéquel, Jacqueline Nicolleau, Anne-Cécile Gatineau, Président of BMO / Mayor of Brest, Président of Conseil Régional de Bretagne, Président of Conseil Général du Finistère, Pascal Aumasson, Director of musée des Beaux-arts de Brest, Yannick Lucéa, Director of École Européenne Supérieure d’Art de Bretagne – Brest.
Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain is supported by
Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain is part of
Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain develops different projects and partnerships with
> Listen to all audio recordings here
Soutenir Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, c’est participer à la production et à la diffusion de l’art contemporain auprès de tous ses publics.
>> Retrouvez le détail de nos actions et les modalités de soutien
- MAHÉ Gilles
- « J’ai tellement d’idées à la journée qu’il ne m’a jamais été utile de choisir une stratégie »
Our gallery spaces in Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain are available for hire in the heart of a unique cultural destination.
Your events can be designed in harmony with the artistic program and to be a collaboration of the education department for special visits and unforgettable memories.
Passerelle spaces are equipped with suitable devices to all types of events, including a conference room and seminar rooms equipped with a video projection system.
Le Patio & la Mezzanine, the Seminar Room and Le Hangar are three spaces with multiple combinations.
They are flexible and adapted to any type of event: product launch, corporate event, cocktail, fashion show, photo shoot, filming or advertising spot …
Informations and booking
tél. +33(0)2 98 43 34 95
41, rue Charles Berthelot
29200 Brest — FR
tel. +33 (0)2 98 43 34 95
fax. +33 (0)2 98 43 29 67
Tram A – Saint-Martin or Octroi
Bus line 7 – Kerigonan
Open Tuesday from 14:00 to 20:00 and Wednesday to Saturday from 14:00 – 18:30
closed on Sunday, Monday and bank holidays
full rate : 3 €
guided tours & lectures : 4 €
Free admission for members, individual children, students, unemployed, C-E-A, AICA & Le Quartier, Centre d’art contemporain, Quimper members.
Free admission for all every first Tuesdays of the month.
single : 20 €
family : 30 €
children, unemployed, student : 10 €
school, association, community centers, other organisations : 40 €
En 2013, Frédéric Teschner Studio est missionné pour faire évoluer les outils de communication, l’identité et la charte visuelle afin de valoriser au mieux les nouvelles actions engagées par le Centre d’art.
Pour le développement du site internet, il s’associe à Benoit Bohnké.
Pensé comme un véritable projet artistique inscrit dans la dynamique programmatique du Centre d’art, la proposition de Frédéric Teschner Studio constitue une création en perpétuelle évolution et renouvellement engagée dans la vie de Passerelle.
Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain is supported by Ville de Brest, Brest Métropole, Conseil Départemental du Finistère, Conseil Régional de Bretagne and ministère de la Culture / DRAC Bretagne.
In 2018, Passerelle received the label “Center for Contemporary Art of National Interest” from the Ministry of Culture.
Passerelle Center for Contemporary Art is a member of the networks a.c.b. – art contemporain en bretagne et d.c.a. – association française de développement des centres d’art.
You are an individual and you want to be kept informed of our programs and our events, receive our invitations to openings, subscribe now for our monthly newsletter
EDUCATION PROGRAMS INFORMATIONS
You are a teacher and you want to receive information about our educational activities and our accompanying documents specifically developed for your students according to official programs, subscribe now for our quarterly educational newsletter
You are part of the press and you want to be kept informed of our programs and our events, receive our press releases, subscribe now to our media newsletter
Communication & partnerships