Under the impetus of curator Gaël Charbau, the Collège des Bernardins and Rubis Mécénat cultural fund invite French visual artist Stéphane Thidet to take over the Collège’s ancient vestry, from April to July 2016. Stephane Thidet is known for his meditations on time and how we perceive it and his explorations into the “aura” possessed by materials. While continuing to explore these themes, the artist has created a veritable metamorphosis within the ancient Bernadins vestry. His installation dramatically changes the experience of visiting and understanding this historically charged site. The site-specific installation uses an impressive amount of water to create a contemplative architectural landscape and inspire a reflective state of mind. Thidet has imagined a strange, singular “drawing machine” which creates an unprecedented choreography intertwining liquid and mineral with the idea of solitude, of being “solitaire”.
Stéphane Thidet , born in 1974, studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Rouen, graduating in 1996. He pursued his education at Paris’ prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, where he graduated in 2002. He now lives in Paris and works in Aubervilliers. His work is centred around the ideas of the transience of the elements and of using objects as a source of both resistance and reconstruction. His art features in many public and private collections. Stéphane Thidet has been represented for the past ten years by the Aline Vidal gallery in Paris, and the Laurence Bernard gallery in Geneva. His work has been exhibited in La Maison Rouge, the Palais de Tokyo and in numerous modern art galleries in both France and abroad.
Le Collège des Bernardins, a recently restored 13th century building, has been open to the public since September 2008. Today, it is a space dedicated to the exploration of the questions that face our society and their points of interaction with Christian wisdom. Everyone is invited to join in on these discussions in their own way: by reflecting, researching, participating in training programmes or embarking on personal artistic expression. The “Questions d’artistes” cultural programme at the Collège des Bernardins was started by Jean de Loisy, under the direction of Hervé de Vaublanc. This programme invites artists to speak, thus pondering important questions about contemporary forms and the modern imagination. The Collège des Bernardins’ programming in music, art and drama encourages site-specific productions and creations.
Image: Stéphane Thidet, Solitaire, 2016, Collège des Bernardins © Stéphane Thidet, production Rubis Mécénat Cultural Fund, courtesy Galerie Aline Vidal, Galerie Laurence Bernard, 2016 / Diane Auckland, fotohaus