The representation of Brittany identities costumes since the XIXe century | a look at the collection of the Brest Museum of Fine Arts | special appearance : Val Piriou


22 Jun — 25 Aug 2012

Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain present an exhibition questioning representation of Brittany identities – real and fictional - costumes since the XIXe century.

Through a selection of paintings and engravings from 1860 – 1940 and extracted from the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Brest’s collections, through documentaries of the 30’s extracted from the Cinémathèque de Bretagne’s collections, on custom and habits in Brittany and clothes from the 80’s of the stylist Val Piriou, this exhibition tried to summarize the tools of representation of Brittany’s identities. The idea is not focusing on the historical aspect but to have a contemporary critical eye on how ethical and social values are seen. This exhibition is organized in multiple chapters, linked to labor representations, portraits, religion, celebrations and family. Women hold a vital place in these works; they combine various essential roles in social organization.

The work displayed question the contemporary issues of clothing representation. Brittany’s costumes reveal things about the situation; regional, geographical, matrimonial even. Since the French revolution, it became a mean to express both individuality and a symbol of belonging. On a closer look, we come to a better understanding of Brittany, included today’s Brittany which develops a strong local and cultural identity.

In the 50’s, René-Yves Creston (artist and ethnologist 1898-1964) took an inventory of 66 different trends and their variations representing communities with various personalities. Brittany’s costume was way more than clothes, it was full of symbols. Each headdress was unique and original. Each costume featured a level of wealth.... [lire plus]

This exhibition was set up in partnership with the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Brest, the Cinémathèque de Bretagne and MP Piriou’s collection.

Films were selected by Marie-Anne Dutertre and Gilbert Le Traon from the Cinémathèque de Bretagne

curator : Ulrike Kremeier