Benoit Paillé /Curatorship and production of an exhibition with a budget of 30eur.

Benoit Paillé "Where is the fucking cat?" 60 x 80 cm Inkjet print (digigraphie) on 235g. Canson photo paper Signed and numbered on the bottom right Ed. 1/6

Benoit Paillé
“Where is the fucking cat?”
60 x 80 cm
Inkjet print (digigraphie) on 235g. Canson photo paper
Signed and numbered on the bottom right
Ed. 1/6

 

Curatorhsip and production of the exhibition “Nitologies” of the Canadian photographer Benoit Paillé

 

Dates

From 13 December 2011 until 30 January 2012

Location

Sala Gratx (private garage), Barcelona, Catalonia.

Team

Curatorship, production, space refurbishment, exhibition set up, communication: Txell Bonet & Iñigo Martínez Möller / Portmanteau Productions

 

Txell Bonet introduced us to the work of the Canadian artist and photographer Benoit Paillé. Love at first sight, we teamed up to make his exhibition in Barcelona happen. Txell had access to a family owned garage in the fashionable Gracia neighbourhood; even though it was in a very rough condition and that we could have used other conventional gallery spaces, we decided to host the show there so that we could do it with full independence. We emptied and sorted family memories, washed the dirt, painted the walls and installed a whole new lighting system by ourselves. We flew Benoit in all the way from Canada, printed and framed the photos and did a good communication campaign, the exhibition was up and running! We opened one only evening weekly, giving food and drinks for free and hosting a different band to play on each occasion (such as Nico & Sunset). We set a clandestine style method of email invitation-only access, since the space didn’t have any kind of license. Having full control on the attendance each opening day, we could perform a very personal communication which let us know our public better, and granted the attendees access to a very personal and unique experience, beyond the standard anonymous visit to a gallery. The space looked great, press coverage and attendance were overwhelming and we even sold a few photographs to important private collections.

We managed to do all this with a budget of roughly 30eur., which was used to buy extremely expensive spray paint for light bulbs, shellfish from the Mercat de l’Abaceria and “bomba” rice to make a paella to honor Benoit. The Bureau du Québec sponsored the flight and part of the food. The well-known Catalan chef Ada Parellada traded the part of the food that was not sponsored for art, and Casa Oms offered artisan cold meat to make sure that nobody left with an empty stomach. Finca Parera and Veltins were the generous sponsors for ecologic wine and beer. We reused cables and light bulbs from the Art Barter exhibition, and painted using leftovers. The frames were borrowed from a private individual who had them stored unused and in mint condition. We used Boris Hoppek‘s plotter, paper and ink to produce the large high quality prints, which were made to fit the frames -they luckily had the right proportions! In exchange for his contribution, he became our partner: with his 10% on the sales we even managed to make him earn some money.

Making this exhibition happen was a whole lot of work but a great human experience. The best thing is that, thanks to the people that surrounded us, it did not really feel like working -which is definitely the best reward. Unexpectedly, the enterprise was profitable. We can never be thankful enough to Txell Bonet (without her determination, passion and endless positive energy none of this would ever have happened), to Benoit Paillé and to all our patrons/angels.

 

(Some of the photographs are still available, if you’re interested please let us know!)

 



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