Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain presents for the first time a monographic exhibition by Caroline Mesquita (born in 1989) in Brittany. Originally from Brest, she has constructed a unique in situ project drawing on the local formal realm of the imagination combined with her personal vocabulary, close to that of science-fiction.
A monumental and monolithic structure extends over the patio of the art centre, in imitation of a restaurant built in slate in accordance with traditional Breton architecture. Both sublime and fantastical, the building-sculpture recalls the world of fairy tales while also containing that note of humour dear to the artist. This restaurant ‘closed for holidays’ is not accessible, it looks real but as you go up to it its artificial nature become obvious. On the first floor of the art centre, metal sculptures are on show like dishes in a restaurant, revealing delicacies from a gastronomy of fantasy. Caroline Mesquita has thrown herself into a fantastical and dreamlike figurative representation. The sharp black slate of the restaurant gives way to a silky coppery gold; the scale is distorted: the building becomes miniaturised and the food on the restaurant menu grows to gigantic proportions.
Seeking to avoid any hint of intellectual pomposity, Caroline Mesquita brings the notion of pleasure in the creative act back into the field of art. The exhibition therefore becomes a meditation and an open narrative, leaving plenty of room for drifting and dreaming. The feast evokes for everybody a time of conviviality but also a certain idea of the lavish and of excess. It is a time for pagan or religious gatherings, with friends of family, time for a feast of taste found in every culture. This simple joy – gathering together – disappeared in 2020 because of the health emergency. Caroline Mesquita here tries to bring back this fundamental pleasure in a conceptual and formal way. The exhibition is primarily developed as a celebration of togetherness and of sharing.
For a few years now, Caroline Mesquita has been studying the human body in all its forms, from the question of identity to its constancy over time. For Le festin [The Feast], she observes ‘what makes the machine run’, food as fuel. It is also about experiencing the idea of slowing down and ‘slow life’. Current trends of ultra-communication and ultra-mobility are destined to be overturned. The question underlying the exhibition could be “What is essential to our existence?” The artist’s response, avoiding any clichés, lies in simplicity and authenticity: art, time for oneself, living well and therefore eating well.
Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain is hosting the first personal exhibition of Apostolos Georgiou in an institution in France. Born in 1952 in Thessaloniki in Greece, Georgiou first studied architecture in Vienna before studying painting in Florence from 1973 to 1975. He lives and works between Athens and the island of Spokelos where he is developing an atypical pictorial oeuvre with large format paintings and drawings. The exhibition Hello Dog, Hello Sir! presents some twenty recent works. The deliberately absurd title firstly evokes a painting presented in the exhibition but also the grotesque world of the artist in the style of Jacques Tati.
Georgiou’s characters live an extraordinary existence, taking part in situations that are often unexpected and incoherent. The imaginary world is conjured up in little scenes offering as many personal stories as there are viewers. Georgiou likes to talk, to describe details in his paintings, but does not want to impose his own rhetoric or narrative – his works never have a title in order to avoid any parasitic linguistic influence. As a lover of metaphor, he compares a work of art to a lover: there is a unique charm in the relationship between the viewer and the painter.
Georgiou casts his gaze over all strata of society, his representations alternately showing bourgeois interiors, packed crowds gathered for mysterious reasons – demonstrations or speeches, perhaps concerts? – and exteriors which exhaust the question of landscape. Each painting, except for rare exceptions, is constructed as a ‘case dismissed’, without any characteristics of its own, accentuated by lifeless grey backgrounds. It is in this very lack of points of reference that this painting asserts its form while still appearing disconcerting. It is therefore impossible to describe a precise context and the characters themselves are interchangeable, marked by bold yet ordinary features.
Georgiou’s painting itself recalls a certain sort of contemporary theatre which strives to erase all references to preserve the very essence of the form and the intention. This way of constructing compositions, focussing on one essential expression, leads the spectator to observe a simple situation between micro-action and micro-event. These snapshots, often autobiographical, combine everyday trivia and reflections on the human condition blended with an absurd or black humour. From these paintings arises an impression of serenity and an ambivalent sensation oscillating between benevolence and malaise. Georgiou described the feeling he is seeking: «A painting must have the tension to provoke us to look at it; to wake us up from a state of indifference».
Passerelle warmly thanks the galleries gb agency, Paris and Rodeo, London/ Piraeus as well as private collectors
As part of the Workshops in Residence, in partnership with Documents d’Artistes Bretagne, Elen Hallégouët is presenting her first personal exhibition in an art centre. Elen Hallégouët sought inspiration in the fertile Breton land and designed a huge immersive installation on the upper floor of the building, combining the history of religious sculpture with political engagement and an imaginary world of water and its legends.
The artist took her title ‘Je te cavernerai (I’ll cavern you)’ from a composition by the poet John Keats taken from his correspondence, referring to the style of the Gothic novel. This piece of writing is key to understanding the political statement of the artist: the Church, despite existing for millennia, has not succeeded in totally eliminating traditions which have survived it, whereas the neo-liberal system has in the space of a few years been able to erase eternal rituals and cultures. Although the period the artist observes for the exhibition is before the time of Keats, the idea of the fantastical bestiary and relics from pagan times, as well as a fascination for the appropriation of past worlds, are found at the heart of the project.
Elen Hallégouët has taken over existing forms; she has cast sculptures in the mould of various churches and architectural elements of the churchyards of Finistère. These forms – dragons, mermaids and other fantastic figures – inherit a new life, in full transparency, and are associated with other, abstract forms, which also play with the question of the visible. Glass sculptures in the form of netting demarcate spaces and constitute a floating space, evoking an aquatic world. On the floor are arranged sculptures evoking mineral aggregates, which accompany visitors as they wander through, constructing a terrestrial map of the cosmos. Elen Hallégouët constructs a route for the senses, playing with brightness and the impression of the real. Shadows and lights, which she includes in the work, refer as much to Keats’ poem as to Plato’s allegory of the cave. The artist manipulates the materials by diverting them from their traditional use: plastic thus becomes delicate while glass is transformed into a wall and into heavenly remnants. With Elen Hallégouët, archaeology mingles with the future and legends leave the world of the imagination to materialise in the present.
This provides a unique opportunity for the joint production in 2021 of an exhibition with Les Enclos Paroissiaux – Le CIAP (Centre d’interprétation de l’architecture et du patrimoine [Architecture and heritage interpretation centre]) on the Guimilau site (Finistère).
In partnership with Documents d’Artistes Bretagne
As part of ‘Chantiers-Résidence’, a residence programme for emerging artists in Brittany.
This programme has the benefit of support from Suravenir, a subsidiary of Crédit Mutuel ARKEA.
Thanks to Sével Services – Brest, UBO – Open Factory and ActuaPlast – La Forêt-Fouesnant for their support.
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
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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.
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EDUCATION PROGRAMS INFORMATIONS
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Communication & partnerships