Founded in January 2005, Le Bureau/ is a group of curators based in Paris, whose aim is to question the very form of the exhibition as a medium and idea. In the context of the multiplication of independent curators, also called ‘authors’, exhibitions are defined as the showcasing of an ensemble of artworks following an individual’s intentions: exhibitions which often mask singularities behind a supposedly optimal presentation of the works. Consequently, Le Bureau/ was founded as a group, in order to question these exhibiting strategies by avoiding the prominence of a single personality.
The latin word ‘curator’ – meaning someone who takes care of’ – is taken in its literal sense: Le Bureau/ becomes an exhibitor / exhibition performer who explores and shows different aspects of the selected artworks at the same time. In this perspective, Le Bureau/ curates exhibitions following a precise procedure. In a first stage of discussion and research the individual members of Le Bureau/ follow separately their ideas concerning the exhibition project and out of which they develop as consequence a common, binding ‘protocole’ that figures as base for the direct implementation of the project. It is the main goal of Le Bureau/ to present works according to several points of view within a specific installation related to the context (independent project, institutional framework, private/public etc.).
For their first presentation in a gallery they maintain this principle: the protocol of Le Bal des Débutantes is based on the ideas and association each member of Le Bureau/ has introduced in regard to the concept of exhibiting in the framework of a group show in the commercial context of a gallery. The works that have been selected as a result from this discourse cannot be subsumed as ‘grammatical elements’ or ‘illustrations’ for just this discourse but demand a specific form of presentation.
Le Bal des Débutantes presents artists who have never been exhibited in Berlin before. Moreover, the selected works have never been shown in a collective exhibition. Le Bureau/ organises their first encounter in the gallery. But this encounter will not be directly visible for the public in form of an exhibition view, a complete overview. The works will be separated by a scenography designed by Le Bureau/, their interrelations will be left to the public’s imagination. Playing with this idea of a labyrinth, or ‘jardin à la française’, the exhibition introduces the public to a journey or circulation within the gallery space, discovering pieces in a kind of hide-and-seek.
(text: Le Bureau/ 2011)
Le Bureau/: Marc Bembekoff, Garance Chabert, Aurélien Mole, Julie Pagnier, Céline Poulin, Emilie Villez.