New York’s New Art Waves: Pauline Beaudemont’s Adventures in (Independent Art) Space

Artist Pauline Beaudemont, whose remarkable photography work you can see below, is also successfully running a newly-born, cutting-edge artspace in her own apartment in Brooklyn, New York. I was impressed by the quality of her projects, so I contacted her to chat a bit, and get to know a little more about her activities.

Hello Pauline. I’d like to know your story: where are you from? did you move a lot? and how did you end up in Brooklyn, New York?
— Bonjour Matilde. I was born in Paris, in Pigalle, right above a bar called ‘Le Colibri’. My love for travelings started when I decided to visit New York by myself for my 18th birthday. Then I went to Japan, lived in Switzerland for 4 years, went everywhere in Europe my feet were walking me. In 2009, after 3 months in India, back in Paris, I couldn’t stay still so I decided to see if something was up for me in the United States. Once in New York I helped for a little bit at the Swiss Institute and I found a job in a photographers agency, where I’ve been working until 2 months ago.

What is your personal photography project at the moment, and in which way is it consistent to your general concept, if you have one?
— My work is interested in oscillations and in remixing different genres of images and pictured representations. I like to walk on the edge between pictures I’ve made, pictures I could have made, pictures I’ve found… attempting to blur the frontiers to the maximum in order to question the mystery and the ambiguity inherent in a captured instant.
Right now I’m working on the representation of animals in Chimeric collages and I’m also very excited about going back into the darkroom and creating ghost photograms. All those practices related to photography are very primitive, very manual.
But I like to have a wide range of photographic practices, in the more traditional sense of it. I document my everyday life and the people playing in it, and post those little stories/scenarios on my blog. This drove me to some commercial as well as editorial or fashion jobs.

You are currently running an exhibition space in Brooklyn, which also happens to be your own apartment. How did you start this project and why?
— Last year I was crashing at my friend’s studio in Greenpoint which happened to be a completely empty storefront. I thought very naively ‘what about gathering artists and make an event especially for Halloween?’. 15 artists from the US and Europe amongst my best friends answered my open call and sent artworks. Producing a whole show by myself really thrilled me. When we got kicked out because the landlord was opening an awful fake vintage shop, I found this other place where I’m now in Brooklyn, on Broadway right in the Hassidic neighbourhood and in front of the overground tracks of the JMZ. A lot of people when they come home say ‘it looks like SoHo in the 80’s’, cause it’s still rough, very untypical, and I arranged it in order to show exhibitions in the front and cook-sleep-wash-work in the back!

Can you tell me something about your past experience with the space? Which authors did you choose, and why?
— The space is called ‘Pauline’s’ (yes, indeed, you’re coming home!). It started like that, as an open living-room for artists, very experimental and liberal. Most of the artists are always looking for a space to present what they’re doing without the pressure of a traditional commercial gallery. Every project is made in the gallery, for the gallery. It is also very important for me to participate in the projects inherent to my gallery, I mean as a creative component.
Everything began in Summer 2010 with a curatorial project brought by Elise Lammer, she proposed an extremely Swiss show, we asked artists to make a proposal for on-site pieces providing any kind of instructions to the curators so that the pieces could be built with local inexpensive materials in a short period of time.
In September I invited the French-Swiss magazine Dorade to make a special event and present it in New York. Besides lauching the new issue, we edited big-sized prints chosen from the images in the magazine. I’ve been participating as a photographer in Dorade since its first issue.
The last show was a collaboration between two artists I met in NYC, Sam Falls and Daniel Turner. Sam showed for the first time his new project made with exposed construction papers, while Daniel made iodine paintings directly on the wall (they’ll fade away and change color in time). So this time I edited a series of 100 numbered posters especially for the show. They’re reproductions of Sam’s picture, and Daniel customized all of them with a thin line of iodine. They are now sold at Motto in Berlin, OFR in Paris, Family in LA and Stand Up Comedy in Portland, OR.

Do you think you are achieving what you always wanted from this place? Did your project change along the way, and in what form? What are your plans for the future?
— I didn’t realize at the beginning that this space could grow big. The last show was a real success and I have a lot of good responses from people who want to work with me on this adventure. So now I’m taking it very seriously and I’m building an exhibition program for 2011 with a collective photo show, a sculpture residence and many other things. A website is also coming up in January, thought as a platform for all the participants, artists, curators, graphic designers, even musicians and filmmakers.
My space will remain as it is, rough, personal, original, welcoming and independent.

28 Throop Avenue
Brooklyn-NY 11206
JMZ-Lorimer / G-Broadway
By appointment only.

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One Comment

  1. dania wrote:

    sottofondo musicale: El Baile Alemán (Señor Coconut)