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This week during Art Basel Miami Beach, be sure to check out Bally’s exhibition “Triangle Walks.” The show is another chapter of Bally’s endorsements of design and modernity, following the Art Basel edition of “Form Scratch” in Switzerland last June. The installation features a reconstruction of Jean Prouvé’s demountable house, pieces of furniture from Bally’s modernist furniture collection, and custom contemporary art pieces by Zak Kitnick and Kolkoz. Whitewall reached out to the project’s curator, Anissa Touati, to discuss her curatorial process and its manifestation working on “Triangle Walks.”
WW: Can you tell us a bit about the project?
AT: In Miami, a complete and renovated house will be shown in the gardens of the Delano, an iconic modern hotel. In order to establish a dialogue between Bally’s modernist furniture collection that will be shown in the garden, and contemporary art, Kolkoz and American artist Zak Kitnick are working on original pieces. They are creating a new vocabulary, reinterpreting traditional furniture. Fake, trompe-l’œil and mutant-shaped pieces will furnish the Jean Prouvé renovated house. The artists are offering a diversion from modernist functionality in exchange for technology and figuration.
WW: There are a lot of names involved in this project, with Kolkoz, Jean Prouvé, and Pierre Jeanneret. As a curator, how did you reconcile all these different facets of the installation?
AT: I try to establish a real dialogue, a reflection on how to create something new–a resonance.
I’m used to working in unusual spaces, on the beach in Miami, in a former hardware store in Brussels, a truck trailer in Mexico, a traditional house in Japan, etc. Each time, I look for links, crosses between the artists and the spaces. I really want to pick up the story flow and spread it over the time, while respecting the soul of the place by focusing on its history and what it will become after.
WW: How do your decisions differ when you’re working on an installation for a fair versus a museum?
AT: Overall in each project, the problem of in-situ arises for the curator. A white cube is a choice, a straight wall or curved too. This is one of the motivations and challenges for me: to test the resistance of the works in real spaces.
WW: This installation in Miami is very different in medium than a lot of your other curatorial work, like the politically charged video installations you did for the Palais de Tokyo. How does your process change depending on the medium of the works you’re curating?
AT: I think my process does not change, it adapts. I work in a very collaborative way. I really like bringing people together whose work I admire and we collaborate in the form of a workshop. We talk a lot, and walk a lot together with nothing to disturb us. I do not think that my role is to accumulate works around a theme and I love the challenge of meetings and discussion.
I try as much as I can to involve all the actors of the art world, creating a strong relationship, creating a family to bring projects together. This traveling exhibition is conceived in the same way. It is always a collective work.
“Triangle Walks” is on view from December 3-7 at the Delano South Beach.