Debrief on PCA Talk with Curator Fabienne Bideaud

On October 28th, Paris College of Art hosted a PCA Talk with Fabienne Bideaud, renowned art historian and art curator based in Paris.

Fabienne started her lecture by presenting her professional journey. For Fabienne, it all started with a one-year residency at the Cité des Arts in Paris. During this residency, Fabienne had the opportunity to curate a one-day exhibition around archeology and visual arts. This exhibition ended up opening doors for her in the world of art curating.

In fact, in 2012-13, she was the invited curator for La Box, Ensa Bourges, where she developed a programme entitled On n’est pas sorti de l’objet* in collaboration with artists such as Ann Guillaume and Lola Reboud.

In April 2014, Fabienne co-curated the exhibition Time Versus Machine with Donatella Bernardi. This exhibition took place in 3 different locations in Bourges and reflected on the topics of temporality, collection, exhibition, context and the new challenges of production.

Recently, Fabienne participated in a residency in Prague called the MeetFactory, where she focused on the comprehension of a local artistic scene in its context, in its production modes and in its theoretical and environmental (social, politic, economic) stakes.

Currently Fabienne is curating the exhibition La Vérité des Apparences – Histoires de symboles, de motifs et de langage, a group show in the context of Paris Photo 2015, taking place at the Galerie de Roussan.

During Fabienne’s presentation, she presented the characteristics and challenges of being a curator to our students and faculty. To recap some of the highlights for those who weren’t able to attend:

  • Awareness of budget is paramount in preparing an exhibition.
  • It is essential to be as creative as possible while staying professional.
  • Sometimes a project continues after the exhibition has ended. Collaborations with certain artists can be repeated for other exhibitions.
  • Explore the idea of invading the city in which the exhibition takes place, consider working also outside the exhibition space.
  • Industrial/technical companies are often looking to collaborate with artists to experiment new techniques.
  • Curating is often influenced by trying to find interesting places to exhibit your ideas (example of exhibiting in an old garage)
  • Setting up an exhibition, it is like a Christmas gift, you have some idea of what it will turn out to be but you don’t know how it will finally look.

Bideaud also answered the question:

As an artist, how can you get in touch with a curator?
You can simply email the curator and hope for a reply. But, more successful ways are to reach out to your network, invite curators to your studio space or to an exhibition featuring your work, apply for residencies to get exposure, go see lots of exhibitions and try to connect to people.

She also encouraged artists to:

  • Have your portfolio ready! Take GOOD pictures of your work and your exhibitions and document your experiments.
  • Have a website and update it regularly!

*We are not done with the object yet