This week, we are going to meet Anouk Bertaux, a young art historian, who specialized in representations of inhumanities and violence.
Let's go for the 7 questions asked to Anouk Bertaux!
Who is Anouk Bertaux?
I am above all a young woman in love with life and human diversity. Curious, I am always in search of knowledge on very vast subjects sometimes very far from art. I am an art historian, I specialized in inhumanities. I wish to contribute, at my level, to make the world better for each of us by transmitting my knowledge on delicate subjects.
Through different sources of information, we can see that you deal with subjects such as war crimes, the abolition of black slavery, violence against women and many other subjects that touch on what humans have always experienced, so what does your work consist of in concrete terms, and why did you choose to work on such sensitive subjects?
My work has different facets. On the one hand, the artistic accompaniment that I offer, where I help manage the careers of different artists for exhibition requests, applications, etc. I write various texts, which are then sent to the artist's home. I write various texts, whether it be articles on works of art, artists or galleries and other cultural structures. I also give lectures on art history or on my specialties, those famous sensitive subjects. I organize workshops on these themes for all audiences. My work is very varied, you really have to be versatile. I started as an art historian after years of study on the representations of extreme violence. I had started a thesis, which I put on hold for various reasons. I noticed that these sensitive subjects are approached by visual artists, including women, but few art personalities dare to speak about them.
In the end, all these works become unnoticed or drowned among the other artistic productions. However, the commitment and the interest of such works, despite the difficulties and stakes they raise, constitute significant springboards for the construction of a more peaceful world.
Anouk Bertaux is a French woman with white skin, but she is also very interested in the history of the black continent, and therefore in Africa. What are the reactions around her?
When a white person, whatever her gender, is interested in the history of Africa, it is always disturbing, especially if she is a woman. I often get remarks, in private or sometimes in public, from men and women, as if it was not legitimate for me to talk about the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsis in Rwanda, for example, or about black slavery, even if it is through the arts. You have to be prepared and know how to respond without making things worse: that's how you gain respect, especially as a woman. I define myself as a humanist, that is to say that I don't make a distinction between the shades of skin color of the human species. I think we need to rally together, with our differences, to face the people who would seek to divide.
Three words that define you?
Passion, rigor, tenacity.
Is Anouk Bertaux a woman of character or a rebel?
I am more a woman of character. Rebellious sometimes, but I prefer to play by the rules as much as possible. On the other hand, I am not afraid to bend them, if I feel it is necessary to move forward, if the rules become too restrictive for example I like freedom and self-expression.
What are your passions outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy simple pleasures as I have made my passion, the love of art, my job. I particularly like getting back to nature, dancing, traveling, cinema, theater... anything that can escape me in various forms. I also like to draw, take photographs or read. Simple passions!
What advice would you give to young women who, like you, would like to become an art historian?
First of all, I would tell them to believe in themselves, no matter what profession they want to do and to listen to their heart, even if they are not in the right environment or do not have the right conditions. Persist, don't give up and listen to yourself. Do something that is true to you. You have everything to succeed, even if it is buried deep inside you. As far as the art world is concerned, entering it and making a place for yourself is relatively difficult. It's a lot of work to do on yourself, including standing your ground when others are trying to bring you down. You have to remain dignified in all circumstances, be humble and work without showing it too much. Being an art historian is not easy; there is a lot of knowledge to acquire and maintain against the competition. Then, it is your personality and your originality that will do the rest. Hang in there and remember that you are your own best ally.
Link facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Anouk-Bertaux-Historienne-de-lart-102257658407089 Instagram : @ab_histoiredelart