Since the 1980s, the Maison du Hédas in Pau has been welcoming women of all nationalities. For its founders, it is a place for exchanges and sharing with the aim of living together and fighting against forms of discrimination, violence, exclusion and racism. In 2013, because they wanted to take a new look at their work, the women of the Maison du Hédas asked the association Pointdefuite for a New Patrons action initiated and supported by the Fondation de France. After several months of exchange, Pointdefuite invites them to meet Bertille Bak, a young plastic artist whose projects address social issues. As the exchanges and encounters progress, the artist understands that the presence, in France, of all these women who came from elsewhere and were welcomed at the Maison des Femmes, responds to a few invariants : the need to cross borders, the use of a smuggler, and sometimes arranged marriage.
In an offbeat tone, the artist decides to stage possible preparations for exile, with women playing their own role as migrants. The artist perceives and reveals a reality, this reality in which, today, surviving the journey, in clandestine spaces and interstices of means of transport by land, sea or air would require a preparation worthy of a combatant's journey. Shot in the Gurs camp in Béarn, built in 1939 to welcome Republicans fleeing Spain, Bertille Bak's film also shows, with a form of empathy, how training, as the sequences turn to the absurd, these heavy and clumsy bodies take together a completely different meaning ; their past, sometimes painful, is transcended through acts of common poetry. The 16-minute film entitled Figures imposées was presented at the Lyon Biennale d'Art Contemporain in 2015.
Practicing a long immersion in the groups with which she works, Bertille Bak belongs to this generation of artists who involve individuals outside the field of art. The artist explores social issues and, with a mischievous language, takes a decentralized look at reality. It involves individuals to build scenarios with them that relate their own lives. Graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and after a stint at the Ecole du Fresnoy, she made films on the borderline between fiction and documentary. Bertille Bak's approach is based on a subtle look at the customs, even rituals, that she observes in the field, diverts or stages as an artist.