Curator: Virginie Bobin
“Bestiario de Lengüitas” (Bestiary of Tonguelets) is an evolving project by artist Mercedes Azpilicueta, in dialogue with curator Virginie Bobin. The exhibition follows the thread of a script written by Mercedes Azpilicueta for a performance that has yet to take place. Fueled by workshops, collaborations and rehearsals with artists, researchers, designers, dancers and singers, the works on view invite a choir of grotesque characters to loudly inhabit the stage of that future performance. Using obsolete knowledge systems, “neobarroso” poems, failed translations and ambiguous ingredients, they try to maintain chaos and excess in a world calling for order, efficiency and transparency.
CAC Brétigny presents the final chapter in a series of three exhibitions, which previously took place at CentroCentro (Madrid, 2019) and Museion—Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bozen/Bolzano (Italy, 2020), before returning to Île-de-France, where the project began in 2017 during a residency at Villa Vassilieff—Pernod Ricard Fellowship. In each location, Mercedes Azpilicueta conducted research and conversations with local interlocutors, which resonate in the works on view. Drawings, costumes, embroideries, videos, sound pieces and sculptures can be approached as scores, prototypes, décors, encoded knowledge systems or even characters responding to each other, rather than as autonomous artworks. They are windows into a work-in-progress that proliferates through multiple encounters, friendships and affections.
“Bestiario de Lengüitas” finds inspiration in proto-scientific knowledge devices, blending European medieval imaginaries with Latin American cosmogonies; and bringing together witches, goddesses and muses from both sides of the Atlantic. The protagonists (be they living or dead; existing or fictive; humans, protheses, animals, demons or plants) converse in a polyphony of languages and voices that obfuscate straight narratives. “Bestiario de Lengüitas” invites the viewers into a “New World Baroque” kind of movement that favors instability and proliferation over the quest for a single truth.
The main collaborators to the project include: Lucile Sauzet (costumes), Ana Ausín (furniture) and Vanina Scolavino (graphic design), as well as Laura Fernández Antolín (production assistance), Federico García Monfort (sound), Hélène Harder (film), Julien Jassaud (computer programming and robotics), Emmanuelle Lafon (performance), Quiela Nuc (film), Ana Roquero (research), Pauline Simon (performance), Javier Villa (research and performance), Tiago Worm Tirone (sound), students from the Master's in Artistic and Cultural Projects and World Scenes (Paris 8 University) and the Master's in Performing Arts and Visual Culture (University of Castilla—La Mancha and Museo Reina Sofía); and participants in different choral schools in Madrid.
 The “New World Baroque” refers to rebel, mixed and decolonial ramifications of the European Baroque in the colonies of the Americas.
Mercedes Azpilicueta (born in La Plata, Argentina in 1981) is a visual and performance artist living and working in Amsterdam and Buenos Aires. Her practice involves research and production processes that explore the affective qualities and political dimension of language and voice, in connection to notions of performativity, post-colonial feminism and resistance. In 2018 she presented her first major solo exhibition at the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art. She received the Pernod Ricard Fellowship, Paris, in 2017 and was artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie (Amsterdam) in 2015—2016. She has an MFA from the Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ (Arnhem, 2013), and a BFA from the National University of the Arts (UNA), Buenos Aires (2007); where she also took the Artists' Program 2009—2010 at the University Torcuato Di Tella. She has exhibited her work at Museion—Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Bozen/Bolzano, 2020), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) and CentroCentro, (Madrid, 2019), REDCAT Gallery (Los Angeles, 2018), MACBA (Barcelona, 2018), CA2M (Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles, 2017), Onomatopee (Eindhoven, 2016), TENT (Rotterdam, 2015), Móvil (Buenos Aires, 2015), Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin, 2014) and Het Veem Theatre (Amsterdam, 2014). The artist is reprensented by Nogueras Blanchard, Spain.
Virginie Bobin works at the crossroads between research, curatorial and editorial practices, pedagogy and translation. She is currently a PhD candidate at the PhD-in-practice in Artistic Research at the Academy of Fine Arts (Vienna). In 2018, she co-founded with Victorine Grataloup the curatorial and editorial platform Qalqalah; and began a long-term collaboration with artist Mercedes Azpilicueta. Between 2016 and 2018, she was Head of Programs at Villa Vassilieff, a center for art, research and residencies, which she co-founded. Previously, she worked for Bétonsalon—Center for Art and Research, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Manifesta Journal, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers and Performa. She presented independent curatorial projects in CRAC Occitanie (Sète, with Victorine Grataloup), MoMA PS1 and e-flux space (New York) and Tabakalera (San Sebastián). Editorial projects include Composing Differences (Les Presses du Réel, 2015) and Re-publications (co-edited with Mathilde Villeneuve, Archive Books, 2015). She also participated in the book Co-Creation, edited by Céline Poulin and Marie Preston with the participation of Stéphanie Airaud, and published by Empire Editions and CAC Brétigny in 2019.
A public service of Cœur d’Essonne Agglomération, CAC Brétigny, Contemporary art center of national interest, benefits from the support of 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 TRAM and d.c.a. The exhibition “Bestiario de Lengüitas” is co-produced by the CAC Brétigny, in collaboration with CentroCentro, Madrid (Spain), and Museion—Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bozen/Bolzano (Italy). It was initiated during a residency of artistic research at Villa Vassilieff—Pernod Ricard Fellowship (Paris), in 2017. The exhibition was shown at CentroCentro, Madrid in winter 2019 and at Museion—Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bozen/Bolzano in spring 2020.