Béatrice Balcou


Container #12 (Anobium Punctatum & Hanne Darboven), 2020
Insect, glass
ø 4,8 cm x 6,5 cm

Container #17 (Hexarthum Exiguum & Rosa da Tivoli), 2020
Insect, glass
ø 5 cm x 11,8 cm

Container #22 (Anobium Punctatum & Bas Jan Ader), 2020
Insect, glass
ø 3,7 cm x 9,3 cm

Container #23 (Attagenus Sminorvi & Judy Chicago), 2020
Insect, glass
ø 4,7 cm x 10,9 cm

Eu 3.500 each (including VAT, excluding shipping)

Béatrice Balcou
Born in 1976, Tréguier, France
Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium

In performances, sculptures and installations Béatrice Balcou 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.

Containers are industrially manufactured glasses with their base and stem cut off i.e. just the bowl. This intervention aims to use the bowl, thereby discretely transforming it. Béatrice Balcou has inserted mounted insects into these glasses known as "museophages" or "heritage insects". They were collected by Fabien Fohrer, an entomologist who studies their behaviour at the Centre Interregional de Conservation et de Restauration pour le Patrimoine (CICRP) laboratories in Marseille. These insects live in museums and consume artworks: they dig tunnels through painting frames or wooden sculptures, they consume the animal adhesives used in certain works and constitute a population that hungers for culture. If you are what you eat, then these are the true aesthetes or, alternately, walking encyclopaedias. The mounted insects are held in bell jars, sealed with thin, blown glass lenses. Balcou provides mausolea for the unwanted insects, disrupting our relationship with them.