Béatrice Balcou


Porteur #7 (Bain de lumière, Ann Veronica Janssens), 2020
Demineralised water, glass
ø 3,6 cm x 30 cm

Porteur #10 (16th century Pietà, Germany), 2020
Polychromed linden wood, glass
ø 3,6 cm x 30 cm

Porteur #14 (Untitled, Laura Lamiel, early work), 2020
Slate powder, glass
ø 3,6 cm x 30 cm

Porteur #16 (Nok sculpture, 200 BC), 2020
Terracota, glass
ø 3,6 cm x 30 cm

Porteur #20 (Untitled, Pierre Tal Coat), 2020
Oil paint, glass
ø 3,6 cm x 30 cm

Porteur #21 (Gallo-Roman jug), 2020
Terracotta, glass
ø 3,6 cm x 30 cm

Eu 4.000 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.

Porteurs consists of glass capsules containing the “residues” of works whose value is hard to estimate. They tell us something about art’s brittle nature as well as our relationship with the material and animal worlds. The works in the series are shaped like relay batons and the artist has faithfully retained the diameter. Each one consists of two parts: one is smooth and hand blown, the other is fluted and moulded. The ends either have a magnifying glass effect or a slightly kaleidoscopic one. They serve as receptacles for fractions of artworks collected from restorers and artists. Their ambiguous status creates a multi-interpretable situation: powder from an antique mirror, crumbs of terracotta from a Nok Culture sculpture, scraps of polychromed linden wood from a 16th-century pietà, a sliver from the front of a Pierre Tal Coat painting, slate powder from an early Laura Lamiel work, etc. People tend to compare every transparent capsule to modern reliquaries as well as to geological research. When Béatrice Balcou questions the sanctity our society attributes to art, she also leads us to imagine other alternatives to these meagre materials of no value. Processional trappings, protest or talking sticks, these witness sticks pass from hand to hand. The performative dimension is a core element of Balcou’s vocabulary.