Jardin-Théâtre Bestiarium

In partnership with SensoProjekt / Projection

Hermann Pitz (les gouttes d’eau), 1989 – Tiré à part du film « Jardin-Théâtre Bestiarium » de Gilles Coudert, apres production, 2016 // mais pas très visibles sous les diapos de Rüdiger Schottle

30th january 2020

SPEAKERS : PATRICK JAVAULT (art critic AICA) et GILLES COUDERT (documentary filmmaker)

Jardin-Théâtre Bestiarium, by Gilles Coudert, after production, French, English, German, VOSTF, 53 min., France, 2016. With the interventions of Guy Tortosa, Chris Dercon, Bernard Blisthène, Xavier Veillan, Alain Séchas, Marin Kasimir and others.

Jardin-Théâtre Bestiarium (1989) is the title of a special exhibition held first in New York, in Seville and then at Confort Moderne in Poitiers. This “plastic event” comes from the meeting of a reflection, that of Rüdiger Schöttle (gallery owner and theorist) imagining to create with artists of his time a garden inspired by models borrowed from baroque literature as well as at Versailles or to Schönbrunn and a desire, and that of Chris Dercon (at the time curator at PS1., New York, co-producer of the exhibition) to bring together artists from a young European scene and others from the northern continent -American, and to confront them with the challenge of taking hold of this idea of the Garden-Theater, without ceasing to be themselves, to produce an exhibition of a new kind.

A theoretical ambition therefore: rethink the formula of group exposure and question its models or its historical precedents. And also a political ambition: that of federating young artists with more or less in common an interest in questions of representation and an oblique criticism of power (s) with Dan Graham, expert in pavilions, as guardian figure. The resulting exhibition and for which some of the artists had worked on a reduced scale (exhibiting models or projects of works or architectures that could take place in a garden), and others at the 1/1 scale (the garden here and now), to which were added slideshows, projection and music, reflected hesitations, disagreements and misunderstandings but knew, in its third and final incarnation, that of Modern Comfort in Poitiers a form fixed in an “installation work” belonging today to the National Center of Plastic Arts.

By giving voice to its authors and a few spectators, Gilles Coudert’s film tells the story of this adventure and makes us discover or relive a moment of transition in the history of contemporary art exhibitions: the one where after the discovery of gardens and castles as new reception areas and before the explosion of curating, the history of gardens and that of the theater could appear as relevant landmarks for renewing the production of exhibitions and proposing new models.

In the presence of Patrick Javault, art critic (AICA) and author of numerous documentary and performance film programs, he was also responsible for several years of “Conversations on Art” at the Ricard Foundation. He also contributed to the catalog of the Jardin-Théâtre Bestiarium exhibition in his presentation at Confort Moderne in Poitiers (1989). And in the presence of Gilles Coudert, director of this documentary as well as founder of the editions a.p.r.è.s production who edited this film on DVD (with a supplement from Rüdiger Schöttle).


Price of Thursdays: 5 €
Reduced rate: 2 € (Friends, subscribers, job seekers, teachers)
Free for students

Within the limit of available seats