The complete Ceremonies (2013-2020) by Béatrice Balcou, testing our visual and experiential approach to artworks, confronting us with the basic status of material objects before actually revealing their identity.
Béatrice Balcou's Untitled Ceremonies consist in unpacking and installing, then demounting and repacking, a work by another artist, borrowed from a private or public collection. What emerges each time is the dual temporality of an artwork oscillating between the states of dormancy—when in storage—and public display. The profound attentiveness Béatrice Balcou brings to each of the chosen works tests our visual and experiential approach to art, confronting us with the basic status of material objects before actually revealing their identity.
As a training tool for the Ceremonies she developed the wooden replicas she calls Placebos, which become sculptures – and works of art – in their own right: "ghosts" of works and tangible mementos of this exhibition ritual.
This catalogue assembles all the Ceremonies (2013-2020) together with their protocols written by the artist, essays by authors—Vanessa Desclaux, Christophe Gallois, Zoë Gray, Béatrice Gross, Julie Pellegrin, Emilie Renard, Septembre Tiberghien and Eva Wittocx—and correspondence with artists, collection managers, gallery owners and publishers: fascinating perspectives on the choreography these Ceremonies weave out of working gestures and gestures of care.
In performances, sculptures and installations Béatrice Balcou (born 1976 in France, lives and works in Brussels) creates situations offering innovative exhibition rituals that challenge our way of looking at and perceiving objects—especially works of art. Homing in on attentiveness to the materiality of the artwork and the behaviour of the viewer, she investigates the perceived value of art and the role assigned to it by our contemporary lifestyles.