For the second exhibition commissioned as part of Factish Field Collective presented work by Bertille Bak. Bertille is an artist based in Paris who works predominantly in film; her work draws on her observations of the communities she has worked with, looking at their rituals, gestures and objects.
Presented at Collective was Bertille’s 2008 film Faire le mur (To the wall) alongside six new and old tapestries created by the participants of the film.
Faire le mur follows the inhabitants of Barlin, an old mining village in Northern France and the artist’s familial hometown, through their last revolt against the development and subsequent raised rents in their town. While plotting the rebellion, tapestries were passed from house to house and sewn by the community. These tapestries are based on famous paintings by old masters including Poussin and Duyster and all portray classic depictions of revolution and lost paradise.
Following the development of Barlin in 2008, the old community dissipated and many of the former residents are now scattered throughout several different cities. Specially for the exhibition at Collective, Bertille asked
the community to weave again. Unable sew collectively the canvases were again passed from house to house in the hope that this would revive the community and continue the story.
Factish Field was a collaboration between Collective and LUX to develop a year-long programme of screenings, talks, a symposium and two new artist commissions. Factish Field takes as its starting point the French anthropologist Bruno Latour’s concept of the ‘factish’, a combination of fact and fetish as a way of thinking about the relationship between facts and beliefs.