BEHIND THE SCENES:
February 14th 2022
THE DEVELOPMENT OF BAD+
BORDEAUX + ART + DESIGN
New dates: July 6-10 2022, at HANGAR 14
LIVE WITH ART
A Way of Thinking
A Way of Seeing
Discover, Share, Exchange, Encounter, See.
BAD+ brings the best galleries in art and design, photography and drawing, sculpture and installation to Bordeaux in early July to give audiences direct contact with art, in a dynamic and exciting spectrum of events. For seasoned collectors, museum curators or the uninitiated enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds, BAD+ IS GOOD, Art is for everyone.
In a time of dramatic unprecedented global change, the most creative engines in the world are the artists in their studios; raw creativity thrown against the known boundaries of our perceptions looking for new modes of expression, new thinking, new ways of seeing. This is the meat on the bones of art. It shows us new things, takes us to the edges of what we already know and suggests a fresh new idea of something unexpected. Here is a place for you.
At this moment of social and political challenges, where the world has come together as never before, stopped mid-stream as never before, in the middle of a thought, a trip, a school year, a business meeting. We stopped. All of us together and we stayed home. The last eighteen months have made us look at everything with fresh eyes. Art has taken a deep breath, while we have created BAD+ as a new proposition—not just another fair. But a place dedicated to new discoveries, experiences, exchanges, observations, dialogue; a place for professionals, collectors and community where high-quality ignites a sense of excitement and brilliance, leading to more questions than answers.
Where gallerists who have dedicated their lives to working with artists and designers (like small farmers) can bring the fruit of these labours to a new audience in Bordeaux. Here we can have the time and distance to look at bigger questions through the art lens. Reflect on the bigger issues that art has always uncovered, whether this is social and political unrest or the pursuit of aesthetic concerns like truth and beauty. Both areas give art its bite and charm. BAD+ can hold two points of view at the same time because art must do so to be convincing. It must add light in the darkness, and at the same time not be afraid of the richness of these deep dark troths of collective experience. Its profound power comes from its frankness, whatever its medium. Art conjures the best of humanity by uncovering the worst of our experiences, but its dedication to finding new forms for this content allows us to see life anew.
Bordeaux is the richly abundant global field, where BAD+ can plant art, photography, design, drawing, installation in a fair, around the city, in the vineyards that surround the city and give it such international acclaim. It is the perfect combination of urban and agrarian to bring the richest mix of thinking and vision together with artists and galleries, thinkers and art lovers of every type from students to museum directors. It is the perfect place to bring the art world, local, regional, national and international players together to pause, look, reflect and consider where we are in this moment and how the rich history of the region can inspire art and vice versa. The wisdom of nature is everywhere present in Bordeaux, infusing its history and future with a mixture of agricultural savoir faire and the richness of fine taste and historic legacy. Contemporary art and design of the past two hundred years can become a strong collaborator for art thinking and art solutions in this splendid architectural capital.
In a world that is no longer constructing cathedrals, every country in the world is building museums; after mass sporting events, cultural tourism is the highest market economic development engine internationally. We love art, all of us, and many of us crave it as we do other energy giving aspects of our lives. We are innately creative as children; we all draw and paint before starting school. It becomes subsumed by other things as we grow older, but it is there and this latent interest in the non-verbal forms of expression touch everyone, like music. It just takes a bit longer sometimes to get into sync with art. Photography is maybe easier, but this is a good way to begin the collector’s journey.
As the art world has developed a wide and deep ecosystem, there is still a primary and important role to play bringing people together in a cultural milieu which allows for a different kind of reflection. BAD+ pairs the elements of an art fair, with the excitement of a new laboratory, think tank and participatory seminars, open to the broadest audience as well as to art veterans, artists and collectors. Everything affirms a primary idea.
At each time of life, art is passion lived well, like wine it improves with age. The experience of art like wine starts with the artist and BAD+ is an arena that highlights first the artists, then the galleries whose primary work is the care and feeding of artists. Like grapes on the vine, artists are developed in specific terroirs and the galleries like great vignerons everywhere showcase their creativity in a specific energy that makes it visible to others. Part of this process is coming together in an art capital like Bordeaux to taste these unique visual presentations and learn what differentiates one from the other.
It is a learned skill, though not a difficult one; creativity stirs in us all. There is a wide field of knowledge to share, art, design, photography, presented with discerning quality. Bordeaux is a city of light, on a famous river that created trade routes across the globe for wine and other products; this elegant eighteenth-century architectural heritage we have a perfect nesting place for a new kind of art event that galvanises once a year the global art world, and the local institutions to get together and exchange conversations and opinions. In this esteemed wine capital of the world there is a diverse landscape for art with many aspects to discover.
BAD+ is a meeting ground where we applaud the paradox—200 years of contemporary art and design—seen, acquired, talked about, enjoyed, experienced in the iconic renovated industrial building – HANGAR 14, on the edge of a river—the Gironde—with its back to an eighteenth-century city of international reputation—Bordeaux.
BAD+ embodies this attitude of bare bones, functional structure, this new spirit where a clear vision can give rise to an intimate experience of pleasure and innovation. Where the concrete, glass and steel mirror an austerity and functionality allowing the creative energies of artists and designers to appear sparkling by comparison. The resulting frisson we achieve this new tough enchantment understanding the inner tension of art and design in this current environment where less is more, values of clarity, sustainability and utility inform aesthetic forms.
BAD+ entices the tough discussions, the paradoxical marriage of old and new with the deepest positions of vitally looking at creativity as an engine of understanding and common experience. Like the photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher taught generations to see photography as a condition of contemporary life through their uninflected typologies of European industrial architecture, BAD+ sees its home in HANGAR 14 as an emblem of purpose and spirit.