Designed as a kind of intermediary between a multimedia library and a theater, CAC Brétigny is more than open to its surroundings. From the creation of on-site artworks that make it possible to take over and significantly alter a site, to involving amateur groups in producing and appreciating art, CAC Brétigny has always emphasized its singularity by paying special attention to the women and men who form the art center and allow it to grow.
CAC Brétigny has been fashioning a structure and a program of events and exhibitions that make both artists and audiences true end users. The program of art events, structured by Céline Poulin, includes all the activities of the art center, from communications to production to outreach. The CAC Brétigny finds itself functioning as a collective space, where each guest, each partner and each member of the team is actively participating in the construction and identity of the project. For the experimental video channel “Pillow Programme”, the CAC Brétigny staff thus invited certain artists who have been a part of the art center’s daily existence, who have shared in and supported its activities. In 2022, “Nest” is also curated collectively, involving all the people working at the art center. Within this exhibition, the experimentations of l’Ǝcole, a project co-created by the art center team and different users, artists, theorists, teachers, etc, write themselves. The CAC Brétigny is in fact fed by the theories of popular education and co-creation, at the crossroads between amateur and professional practice, between educational and artistic activity. Thus, the graphic designers Coline Sunier & Charles Mazé came up with an identity for CAC Brétigny that is an ever-evolving joint construction with the art center. It is a project that embodies CAC Brétigny, which is diverse and open, like any space that wants to remain vibrant and alive.
In 2023-2024, CAC Brétigny, closed for renovation work, takes its programme off-site. For this transitional season, the art centre transforms into a cultural vessel and accompanies the invited artists and curators as they develop narratives anchored in the local area. Coline Sunier & Charles Mazé, graphic designers in residence since 2016, chart the vessel’s take-off and stops. The signs used in the communication for this off-site season are collected from the routes that connect the CAC building with the different spaces in which the programme unfolds. In this way, the duo continues to follow the art centre's movements.
This journey to meet the inhabitants of different neighbouring areas comes as part of a period of transformation for CAC, which is redesigning its programme both geographically and temporally. Two cycles of exhibitions and residencies, conceived by associate curators Valentina Ulisse and Thomas Maestro, alternate research, co-creation and exhibitions in spaces built at different periods. The artists, like characters from a fantasy saga, travel between the spaces and times. Residencies, exhibitions, performances, workshops… they participate in various ways throughout the different chapters of the season, becoming messengers of a past world yet to be reinvented, interpreters of multiple presents, storytellers of possible futures to be imagined collectively.
This roaming is also an opportunity to deepen the existing uses of CAC Brétigny, historically tied to the area that surrounds it. The team, who already travel the towns and cities of the Cœur d’Essonne Agglomération area alongside the artists-in-residence, continue its explorations this year by adapting the offer of public events. For example, the project “Transmissions”, which each year invites young people to articulate their experiences of artworks, takes on the role of envoy announcing and preparing with the residents the arrival of an exhibition in their town. The artistic projects developed by the art centre are characterised by a sensitivity to proximity. They emerge from a strange mix of times and spaces through which the crew travels: curators, artists and the public set off with us on a journey through the region and beyond.
In many science fiction films and novels, the spaceship is central: it travels through the galaxy in search of a habitable planet, becoming itself a society in which we can see the same dynamics of power and domination, collective solidarity and organisation of life together play out. It represents the face of change and transition: an in-between state, at once attached to the past, because it comes from somewhere, the creator of its own present and tending towards a future yet to be discovered together. This imaginary context is very close to our current reality, to a world in the throes of an ecological and political transition in which the global and technological order finds itself upended.
This fictional premise also resonates with the current situation at CAC Brétigny. With the captain sailing towards other horizons, the ship is now being steered collectively, which impacts the way the team works. Each role was, as part of Céline Poulin’s plan for CAC, included in the artistic programme. Now, those responsible for public outreach, production or communication must reconsider their collective organisation. The team has found itself overlapping previously distinct roles, investing even more in discussion spaces, and collaborating to make each person's job fluid, so that everyone can have a role in the overall vision of the project. Ideas shared within l’Ǝcole, the centre’s space for collective experimentation that brings together users from diverse backgrounds, filter into these ways of working together. In 2023-2024, an artist is invited to work on a connection between doing and the collective, through regular meetings that are open to all and combine collaborative artistic production and discussions.
With this off-site season, the geographic foothold and the rhythm of the art centre transform. These movements are also those of being in a collective, within and beyond the institution, with members of the team, associate curators, invited artists and the public. The science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin wrote that: “Imagination, like all living things, lives now, and it lives with, from, on true change. Like all we do and have, it can be co-opted and degraded; but it survives commercial and didactic exploitation. The land outlasts the empires.” Perhaps the same could be said of collective practice. It’s about, then, affording it the time and space necessary to rise from the past, to set it in motion in the present and imagine it in the future.
The CAC Brétigny team
Milène Denécheau, Elisa Klein, Coraline Perrin and Marie Plagnol
 Ursula K. Le Guin, foreword from Tales from Earthsea, Harcourt, 2001.
Archive of the previous seasons available in the History's page.
The CAC Brétigny is a cultural establishment of Cœur d´Essonne Agglomeration. Labeled as a Contemporary Art Center of National Interest, it benefits from the support of the Ministère de la Culture—DRAC Île-de-France, Région Île-de-France and Conseil départemental de l’Essonne, and with the complicity of the Brétigny-sur-Orge's municipality. CAC Brétigny is a member of DCA, TRAM and BLA!.
Céline Poulin served as the director of CAC Brétigny from June 2016 to April 2023. Her vision for the art center, like her earlier programs and exhibitions, evinces her focus on reception as well as collaboration, information and communications arrangements. In this regard, she has mounted, for example, the group shows “Vocales” and “Desk Set”, as well as the first solo shows in France of Liz Magic Laser, Núria Güell and and recently the first institutional monograph of Sara Sadik. Before starting her activity as an independent curator in 2004, she was head of the youth program of BD BOUM, a comic strip festival affiliated with the Ligue de l'enseignement, a french national network of popular education. She has also worked in institutions as Parc Saint Léger (Pougues-les-Eaux) or Crédac (Ivry-sur-Seine). From 2015 to 2018 she codirected with Marie Preston (with the assistance of Stéphanie Airaud) the travevling seminar “Legacies and modalities of co-creation practices”. This work was an extension of Micro-Séminaire, which was published in 2013 and theorized curatorial practices occurring outside of the usual designated spaces. That gave rise to Co-Création, which was jointly published by Empire and CAC Brétigny. In 2021, the CAC Brétigny and Tombolo Presses published Inventer l’école, penser la co-création [Inventing the school, thinking co-creation] of Marie Preston, of which she is the editorial director with the artist. Céline Poulin is a cofounder and member of the curatorial collective Bureau/, which is behind a dozen exhibitions. She is also a member of IKT.
Head of production
A graduate of the Master Critic-Essay—Writing of contemporary art from the University of Strasbourg, Elisa Klein was trained in exhibition coordination and critical writing in contemporary art. She has worked as a production manager at the Frac Île-de-France, at the Gaîté Lyrique and within Fabbula, a cultural practice dedicated to the idea of worlding with digital media in the company of artists and thinkers. Alongside her activity as a producer, she develops a curatorial activity within the Chimère collective with which she organizes exhibitions, transdisciplinary and multi-media editorial projects.
Head of communication and public outreach
After multidisciplinary studies, between philosophy, cultural policies and art history at Sciences Po, Sorbonne University and Panthéon-Sorbonne, Marie Plagnol turns to curation. She develops a curatorial practice rooted in a reflection on the links to be forged between artists, institutions and publics. She is interested in the notion of friendship in its political dimension, as a tool to rethink our networks and communities. As a member of the Champs magnétiques collective, she curated the cycles of exhibitions “Des soleils encore verts” (2021) and “Le réseau des murmures”. Marie Plagnol seeks to establish long-term collaborations with artists and has worked for several years with Céline Pierre. They are currently collaborating on The Skênê Notebooks (2022). Throughout her career, she notably worked at the MAC VAL, at Para Site in Hong Kong and at Council.
Technical and public outreach manager
Holder of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master's degree in Works Management and Exhibition Mounting, Milène Denécheau trained as a stage manager at Frac Bretagne and Galerie Danysz. At the same time, she is developing her practice of mediation within the art-expression association specialized in the creation and dissemination of contemporary art.
Public outreach Théâtre and CAC Brétigny
Coraline Perrin holds a double master’s in interior design and exhibition design from L’École Supérieure d’Arts et Techniques de Paris (ESAT). An Essonne resident, she focused on the relationships between industrial wastelands, the Seine river and her roots in the Corbeil-Essonnes city area for her degree in interior design. In exhibition design, she asserted her commitment to considering the place of visitors, something which led her to branch out towards working directly with a diverse public by training in cultural mediation. After completing a civic service placement in communication and cultural mediation at CAC Brétigny, she went on to join the Théâtre and CAC Brétigny teams as a cultural mediator.
Tanguy Wagino (civic service)
Public outreach assistant
Danaé Leroy (internship)
Curatorial and production assistant
Doualot Léana (civic service)
Public outreach and communication assistant
Co-director of the Revue
After studying literature, Anne-Charlotte Michaut moved on to research in history of contemporary art (École du Louvre and Université Paris I). Today she is developing an art critic activity, notably for L’Œil and Manifesto XXI.
Thomas Maestro and Valentina Ulisse
Associate curators for the 2023-2024 off-site season
After studying at different art schools (ESADHaR Le Havre and Rouen), Thomas Maestro chose to bring a curatorial dimension into his artistic practice. He trained through a master’s degree in exhibition curation (Sorbonne Université) and is a member of the collective Champs magnétiques. With this group, he co-constructed the cycles of exhibitions “Des soleils encore verts” (2021) and “Le réseau des murmures” (2023-2024). He has also worked as an associate curator and project manager at Cneai (Centre National Édition Art Image) and was artistic and curatorial assistant to Daniel Purroy in Vitry-sur-Seine (artist and former artistic director of the Galerie Municipale Jean-Collet). He is also a member of the artistic and curatorial duo Éléments partout, co-founded in 2020 with his collaborator Agathe Schneider. He is interested in secrets, shifts in reality, ruins and shacks, in what is barely visible but very much present. Transmission, as a vector for collective movements, is at the heart of his aspirations.
After studying art history at the university La Sapienza in Rome and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Valentina Ulisse completed a professional Master’s 2 degree in “Contemporary art and its exhibition” at Sorbonne Université and co-founded the curatorial collective espace projectif. Alongside her studies, she trained in the exhibition profession through internships at the Centre Pompidou, CAC Brétigny and Council, among others. Today, Valentina Ulisse continues her work through her various activities within the organisation of art projects, writing and cultural mediation. She assists gallery owner Aline Vidal with whom she organises “De(s)rives”, a curatorial project that experiments with exhibition formats outside of traditional artistic contexts. Valentina Ulisse is interested in art economies, in alternative systems of production and dissemination and in co-creative artistic practices related to pedagogy and popular knowledge.
Technical management and advice
Julien Jassaud is an artist and programmer. After the ESTP, he studied at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris and the Advanced Institute of Art Media and Sciences (IAMAS) in Japan. As a programmer and technician, he collaborated with many artists such as Christophe Lemaitre for CNEAI and Confort moderne, Aurélien Mole for Passerelle Centre d'art contemporain, Marlies Pöschl for CAC Brétigny, Fayçale Baghriche for MAGCP, and Mercedes Azpilicueta for CentroCentro in Madrid, Museion in Bolzano (Italy) and CAC Brétigny.
Installation work and construction
Guillaume Rannou has done theatre in the street, as well as theatre in the theatre, co-created the collective Bracer, self-published the Japenese literary blog êtreaujapon, participated in CIP-IdF’s Commisson of words and invented shows (J’ai !, un essai sur le rugby ; La Vérité en pointure, à partir d’un texte de Derrida ; Nous sommes tous, performance généalogique). With David Poullard, he formed a collective that works on the ordinariness of language (books, posters, performances, etc.) He proofreads: he loves checking everything, sometimes proposing something else, and being among the first to read a text.
Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn is a freelance translator and journalist. She translates for public art and research institutions. Her non-fiction writing centres on food production as a subject of public interest. She was born in Derby, England, in 1990 and has lived in France since 2012.
Loïc Hornecker, Yasmine Kicha, Lucien Thomas-Parcot
- Director: Sophie Mugnier
- Administrator: Cyril Waravka
- Assistant Administrator: Céline Semence
- Administrative Assistant and Accountant: Isabelle Dinouard
- Assistant Accountant: Nadine Monfermé
- Guard: Emmanuel Préau
- Maintenance Technician: Rachid Boubekeur
Former members of the team who participated in the project since 2016: Valentine Brémaud (internship), Cathy Crochemar (internship), Camille Duval (internship), Céline Gatel (civic service), Mathieu Gillot (technical and public outreach manager), Domitille Guilé (civic service), Ariane Guyon (internship), Julie Kremer (public outreach officer), Thibault Lambert (head of production), Léa Lecourt (public outreach officer), Elena Lespes Muñoz (Head of communication and public outreach), Camille Martin (head of production), Mathilde Moreau (curator and production assistant), Raheleh Nasiran (internship), Manon Prigent (communication and public outreach manager), Valentina Ulisse (internship), Juliette Valenti (internship), Suheyla Yasar (internship), Anna Pericchi (civic service), Rebecca Théagène (intership) et Jun Zhang (internship).