Journal

Capc celebrates its 50th anniversary with artist Kapwani Kiwanga

Since the end of June, Kapwani Kiwanga has taken over the great nave of the CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux for an unprecedented project. A large-scale exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the institution, of which Château Haut-Bailly has been a long-term sponsor. We were lucky enough to discover this monumental creation by the Canadian artist, who is exhibiting at the Capc until January 7, 2024.

50 years dedicated to contemporary creation

Founded in 1973, the Capc in Bordeaux – Centre d’arts plastiques contemporains, a place for experimentation around art, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. “Always in search of innovative artistic practices that are in tune with the issues of the times, over the past five decades the Capc has deployed a dense and uninterrupted activity of exhibitions, performances and mediation actions for the people of Bordeaux, as well as for national and international audiences,” according to the museum’s website.

Events are organized throughout the year to look back on this half-century and cast the museum into the future. In fact, a major exhibition has just opened in the nave of the institution, and the Canadian artist based in Paris, Kapwani Kiwanga, has been chosen. Her way of bringing stories to light, her work on shapes, openings and asymmetries were an obvious choice for Capc.

The nave as a starting point

The architecture of the building was a real source of inspiration for the artist, who was able to embrace the structure and create, in a way, an extension of the architecture. Indeed, curtains of indigo rope from French rope-makers bring the great arches of the Entrepôt Laîné to life, while showcasing centuries-old craftsmanship.

A total of 53 kilometers of rope were needed to create the installation. They are held in place by two different systems: wooden frames and metal structures. A play of light leads the public into a dreamlike world of Bordeaux’s history and river trade.

Water and sound

Like a river flowing through the city, the curtains cover the nave. Ropes are mixed with different materials, selected both for their aesthetics and their symbolism, to tell the rich story of the city of Bordeaux and its river. Kapwani Kiwanga plays with water, transparency, opacity and sound. The different diameters of the ropes bring new vibrations and a new way of capturing sound to this historic nave of the 19th-century Entrepôt Lainé.

The exhibition also highlights the expertise of the teams at Capc, the exhibition’s producer, who created a formidable technical staging. A grandiose installation to celebrate an unforgettable half-century.