12 July–7 September 2014
Artist’s residency: 12 May–11 July
Performances: until 7 September, Sunday 10am and Wednesday 7:15pm
Project room @ aquarium
Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
41, rue Notre-Dame
L – 2240 Luxembourg
T (+352) 22 50 45
info [at] casino-luxembourg.lu
Curators: Christine Walentiny, Kevin Muhlen
The Walk in Beauty project by the artist Béatrice Balcou (born in 1976 in France, lives and works in Brussels) is both an installation and a performance which invites the visitor to consider our relationship with time and our way of looking at things. In the framework of her artist’s residency at Casino Luxembourg from May to July, Béatrice Balcou has particularly concentrated on time spent contemplating a work of art. To do this, she chose a work from the Mudam Luxembourg collection and called on a team of seven performers (amateurs and professionals) to create a performance.
The selected work is unveiled during a performance which Béatrice Balcou organises like a real ceremony. This conflicts with a touristic approach to the museum, and to the museum as a place where works of art are consumed. To make this time special, her rituals take place twice a week, outside of normal opening hours. The Casino is only open for this particular work of art, so that it can be entirely focused upon. Each performance is achieved by three performers. All performers practiced with Béatrice Balcou in preliminary workshops during which they were assisted by Mudam registrars. With slow, precise movements, they install the work of art in the space and guide the spectator into contemplation. A love and respect for the art object are wholly expressed.
The “ceremonies” and the exhibition itself counter exterior agitations, which can be perceived behind the windows of the “Aquarium.”
A curtain of light silk, which is fluid and translucent, divides the space in the “Aquarium” into two: lengthways, and from top to bottom. It thus creates a certain intimacy, which is ideal for contemplation; moreover, it offers a space which is similar to being behind the scenes, where the spectator can see what normally would be hidden.
Two almost identical wooden cabinets are placed in the “Aquarium” space: one, with its wooden objects placed on Kraft paper, almost melts into the space, while the original work of Mudam stands out from the monotone shades, with its black paper suspended in the same way as its neighbour. It seems to be waiting, no object has been placed there. The first is a “placebo work,” a wooden copy of the original work. Earlier, the performers used this copy—being neither an exact replica nor a reinterpretation of the original—to practise manipulating and caring for the original work of art. Now, without its initial use, it gives clues about the absent original work of art and seems almost like a ghost image of this, a memory. Now it will be part of the history of the original work of art and will give the visitor a new perception of it.
Walk in Beauty goes against the agitations of daily life, and defies, like an act of resistance, the frantic rhythm imposed by our society where time is managed, measured, rationalised and made profitable. Béatrice Balcou offers a side note, a temporary withdrawal from the world during which she invites us to take the time to better engage with the work of art.
In collaboration with Mudam Luxembourg
Press contact: presse [at] casino-luxembourg.lu