AVIGNON.- The very beautiful Church des Célestins is the setting for the paintings produced specifically for this and other ancient sites by Guillaume Bresson. Composed from elements in the immediate environment but also from different sources that he recomposes on the support, his work is, beneath its seemingly naturalist innocence, primarily fictional. Following the long period of deconstruction of the medium during modernity, then its reconstruction in post-modernity, painting is in the process of reinventing itself and finding new directions to develop its future its next thing: painting in which the run-of-the-mill and the exceptional, the vulgar and sublime, the ordinary and the erudite are all equally considered. That is why the canvases of Guillaume Bresson tell strange stories that lie within our immediate understanding and are yet also removed from it. They may depict two bare-legged, life-size figures dressed in K-Ways that look to be either homeless or prophets of an uncertain tomorrow, or perhaps an unreal, almost ancient battle between a group of youths inside a fast-food restaurant, or maybe a teenager putting on his helmet before getting on his scooter in the early morning light, the light of a new beginning.
A popular and contemporary artistic adventure. Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the Avignon Festival is today one of the most important contemporary performing arts events in the world. Every year in July, Avignon becomes a city-theater, transforming its architectural heritage into various performance venues, majestic or surprising, welcoming tens of thousands of theater-lovers (over 130,000 admissions) of all ages. Its legendary space is the "Cour d'honneur" (main courtyard) of the Popes' Palace, the heart of outdoor performances, before nearly 2,000 spectators, on summer nights in Provence. The spectators, often on vacation and far from home, spend several days in Avignon and see a few of the 40 or so shows, mostly plays and dance recitals and occasionally concerts or plastic arts events. The Festival successfully brings together a general public and international creation for an original alliance. Avignon is also a state of mind: the city is an open-air forum where festival-goers discuss the shows and share their experiences as spectators. For a month, everyone can have access to a contemporary and living culture.
There are more than thirty different shows performed during the Festival, but and also readings, exhibitions, films and debates, all of which are gateways into the invited artists' own world. Every evening during the Festival, there is at least one show première, making Avignon a place of true creation and adventure for the artists as well as for the audience.
The Festival's directors are appointed by the board, and have to be formally approved by the Mayor of Avignon and the French Culture Ministry. Since Jean Vilar, the artistic director has been entirely free to draw his or her programme up. All the public bodies involved always respected this independence, regardless of their political leanings.
Guillaume Bresson was born in Toulouse, France in 1982. He lives and works in Paris.
His work has been included in many exhibitions in France and abroad, including: in 2010, Dynasty at the Palais de Tokyo; in 2011 at the Musée dArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris / ARC; in 2013 Lumière Noire at the Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe, and La Belle Peinture II at the Institut français in Bratislava, Slovakia; and in 2015, Desdémone, entre désir et désespoir, at the IMA in Paris. He is represented by the Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris-Brussels) and partnered by Alain Berland, artistic advisor, for the exhibition in the Church des Célestins.
One of its works is also presented in the exhibition Patrice Chéreau, Un Musée Imaginaire in the Collection Lambert from July 10th until October 11th.