Hélène Baril was born in the French Alps, but grew up by the sea, the same part of Brittany frequented by the great filmmaker/biologist Jean Painlevé, who among other things, practiced filming under the sea. After getting an MA in literature, Hélène quit her job teaching French to study art. Moving to Finland, she began a career painting houses, purposely confusing the work of fine arts and decoration. Recently, she’s been developing a “tale” involving racecars. In 2011, she created Orlandus Gallery, inspired by a fictional Finnish painter and racing car driver from the early 1800s. The artist also served as inspiration for SBK, an experimental collaborative Hélène founded in 2012, which uses a car for meetings, projects, and as a working tool. Constructing its name and logo after Shell Oil, SBK is “an allegorical and poetic initiative,” whose sphere of operation touches literature, geography, economy, environmentalism, and popular psychology. In 2013 she started a collaboration with anthropologist Michael Taussig in what they call their Sea Theater. Hélène’s work is a fairy tale aimed at confusing real and fictional worlds, or simply encountering the one into the other.

www.sbkland.com (racing car tale)


My racing car is a shell (performance)

Video of the performance made in Azuqueca de Henares is now online, here:

"My racing car is a shell" is a 3 parts experimental road trip where SBK (Hélène Baril + her car) is traveling around Europe. There is no precise goal but the seek of making art and meeting people and organizations on a economically autonomous basis. SBK's own and independent economy is running thanks to oil. So the larger economy cannot be avoided in the making of the process. How can we drive our cars without oil? How can we survive as artists without galleries and collectors?

The video is showing the performance that SBK made in Azuqueca de Henares, Spain. It has been the result of a collaboration with EACEC (Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo el Contenedor) who is creating awareness about the potential of art in a rather small city (half an hour from Madrid), by inviting artists to interact with a container in public spaces. SBK's intention was to create a fake art opening by showing Hélène Baril's paintings first, and throwing them in the container afterwards. The artist identity is thrown away with the paintings, that is also how SBK rises. It is also the temptation to empty the shell sign from its meaning.
Car driving images were shot on North Uist Island, Scotland, where SBK was staying and working a few weeks before.

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