Bertille Bak
<a class="switch">Text</a><br> <b>Pascale Pronnier</b> <br/> <span style="display: none;"> Head of artistic programs <br/> Le Fresnoy </span>





<span class="alinea"></span>The notion of community identity certainly emphasized in Bak’s work: it is a strong constant, a marker that returns as a leitmotiv throughout her creations. Her approach is inspired by the communities among which she lives, built on the rites, objects, and architecture that constitute, unite, and seal them. Sensitive to precarious social contexts, she identifies, collects, and archives the traces and testimonies of the populations she encounters during her travels around the world. Thus, her films and installations have involved collaborating with Polish immigrants in New York, a community of gypsies in Ivry-sur-Seine, the inhabitants of a building scheduled to be demolished in the suburbs of Bangkok, and more. <br/> <br/> <span class="alinea"></span>An authentic storyteller, Bak is interested in exploring, with sincerity and modesty, the question of our living together, in a utopian search for the means of maintaining social cohesion. Her work denounces the excesses of contemporary society, while being fueled as well by a form of optimistic resistance and collective struggle, animated by a deeply humanist commitment. This intimacy with her subjects allows a certain form of levity. Her installations and films are not documentaries, nor are they trials. Bak uses fiction and several narrative threads to better target details that reveal the human condition around the world. <br/> <br/> <span class="alinea"></span>Her first work, initiated in 2005, focused on a workers’ community that is now in danger of disappearing, that of the mining cities of northern France, which Bak, as the granddaughter of a miner, knows particularly well. <i>T’as de beaux vieux, tu sais</i> (2007), <i>Faire le mur</i> (2008), and, more recently, <i>Tu redeviendras poussière</i> (2017) express her subjects’ dreams of emancipation. Bak artistically accompanies their protests. Through her videos, installations, drawings, and paintings, she seeks to revive the memory of the miners’ cottages and their inhabitants, bearing witness to the profound changes that territory is undergoing. With humor and nostalgia, the artist points out the passing of time, boredom, and loneliness; she reverses the established codes and offers a new perspective on intergenerational relationships. <br/> <br/> <span class="alinea"></span>This artist tries to create legitimate links between the working world and the visual arts. It makes sense that Bak has now decided to deepen her research and create work in close resonance with this familiar territory. <br/> <br/>
 

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