‘Family Affair’ is a solo exhibition of French artist Carlotta Bailly-Borg, which touches upon the recognisable, fraught relationships we embark upon with others, ourselves, and our environment. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Ballon Rouge Collective and is an exhibition in two acts, ‘Trouble’ concurrently at Ballon Rouge, Brussels, BE.

With a body of work spanning drawing and painting on canvas, cloth, walls, glass panels and ceramics, BaillyBorg is consistently exploring new ways for her emblematic anthropomorphic creatures to inhabit a variety of contexts. Her visual imagery is informed by a myriad of trans-historic and trans-cultural references; her references range from medieval manuscripts and Hellenic myths to Japanese erotic representations and Hindu folklore. These sources of inspiration challenge the artist to constantly reconsider her universe, both in conceptual and technical ways. However, the beings she brings to life remain recognisable, even if they delicately transgress time, space, and their own identities. Their bodies occupy spaces in ways that reflect all the conflicting feelings that accompany acts of desire. They hide in corners, take a leap, stretch languidly, and curiously approach and explore one another and their surroundings.

For ‘Family Affair’, the artist presents an existing body of work titled after the same name, in juxtaposition with a large scale fabric work. The body of work consists of vertical scroll paintings on linen which depict cords tied in knots, heavy and opaque, to subtly encapsulate wandering human beings. VITRINE’s aquarium-like presence when perceived from the street, forms an extended environment in which these figures are together in their solitude. In conjunction with this, ‘Trouble’ consists of an entirely new series of large-scale paintings. The figures are life-sized upon the canvas and fuses various colour schemes while revisiting photo-transferring techniques.

The seemingly anachronistic mix of her spontaneously hand-drawn faces and dancing limbs, coupled with the direct transfers of flowers and leaves in various stages of decay, fosters an encounter between natural, moving forces.

In dialogue between these two bodies of work, Carlotta Bailly-Borg poignantly channels concerns and observations on our instinctive behaviours and what our body language reveals about these. In fact, it’s precisely in the hesitant, at times suspicious, or even violent approach towards others and our environment that BaillyBorg recognises a potential for a common purpose that we tend to overlook.

This exhibition is a satellite project organised and curated by Ballon Rouge Collective. VITRINE was hosted at Ballon Rouge’s space in Brussels, BE, during November and December 2021 where they presented a duo exhibition with Tarek Lakhrissi and Charlie Godet Thomas.

Carlotta Bailly-Borg (b. 1984, France) lives and works in Brussels, BE. She holds a BFA (2005) and an MFA (2010) in Fine Art from École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy, FR. She was nominated for the 22nd Prix Fondation Pernod Ricard, 2021.Bailly-Borg has exhibited internationally at galleries, museums and biennials including: Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles, FR; Goldsmiths CCA, London, UK; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR; Michael Horbach Foundation, Cologne, DE; Fondation Ricard, Paris, FR; Baltic Triennial 13, South London Gallery, UK and Kunstihoone, Tallinn, EE; Musée et Jardin Van Buuren, Brussels, BE; Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille, FR; CNEAI, Chatou, FR; Onomatopee, Eindhoven, NL; Everyday Gallery, Anvers, BE; Galerie Sultana, Paris, FR; Bosse & Baum, London, UK; Tunnel Tunnel, Lausanne, DH; HIGH ART, Paris, FR; Efremidis Gallery, Berlin, DE; Galeria Duarte Sequeira, Braga, PT; Studio Amaro, Naples, IT; ATTIC, Brussels, BE; Karma International, Los Angeles, US; Praz Delavallade, Paris, FR; Island, Brussels, BE; DOC, Paris, FR. Residencies include: Moly Sabata/ Fondation Albert Gleizes, Sablons, FR; Le Pavillon Neuflize OBC, Palais de Tokyo’s Creation Laboratory, Paris, FR; Les Verrières, Pont-Aven, FR.

Evelyn Simons (b. 1989. Halle, DE) lives and works in Brussels, BE. She has been the curator for Horst Arts & Music, an organisation blending the worlds of contemporary art and architecture with electronic music, since 2019. She combines this position with other freelance activities such as running the residency programme for the private Minimal and Conceptual Art Foundation Fondation CAB in Brussels and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Simons is currently preparing the launch of a new center for contemporary arts with a focus on the ecological discourse in the countryside South of Brussels called Ter Rijst, together with curator Isabel Van Bos. Simons was aware the Curate Award from Fondazione Prada & Qatar Museums in 2014, which resulted in the exhibition ‘Driftwood, or how we surfaced through currents’ (2017) at Exarcheia in Athens, GR, and the short film and expo ‘The Never Never’, with Jeremy Hutchison (2019, in progress and set to travel past various European institutions from 2022 onwards). In 2016 she was curator-in-residence at the Beirut Art Residency, and in 2021 at Villa Lena, Tuscany, IT. Evelyn has a Master’s degree in Art Science from Ghent University, and a postgraduate degree in Curatorial Studies from KASK Ghent.