On-site works

Xavier Veilhan, Le Feu, 1996.
Gyrofocus Fireplace. Production CAC Brétigny.

Shaped like a black nest, the fireplace hangs from the ceiling of the exhibition space. The benches placed around it invite the public to take a seat, reminding visitors that the space is not solely devoted to displaying objects but is also a convivial place meant for use by one and all. The fireplace is detachable and is not a permanent fixture of the room. But because the hearth remains in place, it can stay empty or welcome other fireplaces depending on the needs of an exhibition. 

Atelier van Lieshout, Annexe, 2000.
Resin, various materials. Production CAC Brétigny.

During the expansion of the art center, Atelier van Lieshout was invited to create an annex. The specifications of this commissioned work gives a good idea of its functions: computer access, video source, food and drink service. Three things on offer which are linked to three activities for the public. This program was carried out by AVL in a rationalized architecture determined by the scale and movement of the consumer. The resulting object, shaped in this way, rests on the façade while opening up on the inside so as to accommodate a standing adult. In determining the exterior form thanks to the presence of the interior use, AVL inverts the hierarchy of forms in architecture and places the user at the starting point of the design.

Atelier van Lieshout, Edutainer, 2003.
Cargo containers, wood, furniture. Production CAC Brétigny.

Edutainer is a piece by Atelier Van Lieshout that is located outside the art center. Its architecture is made up of two cargo containers with a tank grafted on, conveying the idea of some activity that is currently underway. The containers conjure up the worldwide system for the exchange of goods and the standardization in the flow of manufactured and raw materials. Featuring an all-wood interior that offers a striking contrast with its exterior envelop, this compartment enables the center to develop activities in conjunction with its exhibitions, hosting groups, workshops, and a workspace.

Mathieu Lehanneur, Les Moulures utiles, 2004.
Synthetic plaster, paint. Production CAC Brétigny.

Mathieu Lehanneur’s Moulures utiles (Useful Moldings) are adjustable formal synthetic elements that can be attached to the wall and serve as shelves, CD holders, an elegant storage space, benches, and so on. They crystallize several ideas, including creating a hybridization between design and architecture by merging the furniture with the built architecture while borrowing materials and techniques from masonry; working towards the elimination of the object and its absorption by its environment; playing on the codes of ostentatious decoration and unadorned functionality; and transforming the outer sign of wealth that molding represented in the Haussmanian apartment into an interior sign of comfort.

Teresa Margolles, Fosse commune—Fosa comùn, 2005.
Water, cement, pigments, resin. Production CAC Brétigny.

The work called Fosse commune (Common Grave), which stretches underfoot here, is a section of floor that was destroyed, then rebuilt with a mix of cement, pigments, and resin. These were mixed with water from Mexico transported illegally in the baggage of various friends of the artist. The water had been used to wash the bodies of murder victims after they had been autopsied in the morgue of Culiacán, a violent metropolis and center of the drug cartel that is also the artist’s native city. The water was used as a bond in the new floor of the art center.

Teresa Margolles, Table et deux bancs—Mesa y dos bancos, 2005.
Water, cement, pigments, resin. Production CAC Brétigny.

Table et deux bancs (Table and Two Benches) is a set of furniture created for outside the art center using a mix of cement, pigments, and resin, which were incorporated with water brought from legal medical laboratories in Mexico City, Mexico. This water was originally used in washing the bodies of murder victims, following the autopsies performed on them. To visitors and passers-by,Table et deux bancs is a rest area, a domestic outdoor space that echoes the art center’s interior.

Dominique Mathieu, Bistanclaque, 2009.
Brackets and pine planks, OSB and MDF panels tinted black, white honeycomb board, portholes, hanging light fixtures by Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, salvaged lampshade, engraved brass plaque. Production CAC Brétigny.

Bistanclaque gets its name from an onomatopoetic term in French that refers to the sound made by the looms set up right in the homes of the canuts, or silk workers, of Lyon in the 19th century. Dominique Mathieu borrowed their simple principles of construction, using cheap building materials, to produce an installation that he intended for the art center’s office. The installation is built around a central structure that encompasses the workstations, a conference space, and the storage units needed in the day-to-day work at the center. Conceived by the designer, the project also includes design elements (the wall bookshelves, the carpeting, Marteen van Severen chairs, an Achille Castiglioni coat rack, and Enzo Mari In Attesa trashcans).

Christodoulos Panayiotou, Untitled, 2012.
Colored inter-embedded glass. Production CAC Brétigny.

Invited in 2012 by CAC Brétigny to do something for the center, Christodoulos Panayiotou decided to replace one of the panes of the glass roof with pink glass, thus having an effect on the exhibition space according to the movement and intensity of the sun. The color pink, symbol of love and sexuality, is reintroduced here in reference to its accidental disappearance from the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement (which is of course dedicated to ensuring the social acceptance of sexual minorities), with the pink stripe originally being a part of the flag when it was created by the activist Gilbert Baker in 1978. "Spectral" in both its concrete and figurative meanings, the color has been added to the space like a gesture that reestablishes it after an unintentional omission and makes the sun’s journey across the sky an integral part of the exhibition gallery.