Marie Preston

Art Center

from 1st Dec 2019 to 17 may 2020 - Centre d'art

"Du pain sur la planche"

solo exhibition

Learning and creating together. Drawing on her collective experiments, Marie Preston sees her exhibition as an ongoing work situation enabling exploration of the connections between cocreation and co-education.

Artist, researcher and teacher, Marie Preston sees her task as endeavouring to create artworks with people who, in theory, are not artists. Making initial contact via personal activity in a specific geographical context, she triggers a collective creative process that establishes common ground through interchange of knowledge and skills. The resultant group experiments find expression in photographs, sculptures, performances, films and actions.


At La Ferme du Buisson Preston is combining two lines of research in a focus on the bakery trade and alternative forms of education. Her Pain Commun (Communal Bread) project in Paris's Saint Denis district brings local residents and bakers' apprentices together in a bread-making venture seen as a shared approach to "letting knowledge grow".


She is pairing this with an investigation into a network of experimental schools that sprang up in France in the 1970s and 1980s on a basis of self-governance, cooperation and openness to innovation. The outcome is an exhibition designed as an ongoing work situation enabling exploration of the connections between co-creation and co-learning.



In partnership with CAC Brétigny, Contemporary Art Center of National Interest, Teamed research group (International Contemporary Arts Association/AIAC) and the EUR Artec artists' collective research section

1 December 2019, 3 – 7 pm

exhibition opening

shuttle leaves Opéra Bastille at 2:15 pm

advance booking required


launch of  Digressions #8  

(a conversation between Marie Preston, Nora Sternfeld and Julie Pellegrin)


11 January 2020, 2:30 am–6:30 pm

lecture: The pedagogical turn in art with Janna Graham, researcher at Goldsmiths in London;

and workshop-discussion with Céline Poulin, director of CAC Brétigny and co-editor of Co-creation, and the authors the book.

In association with CAC Brétigny, Contemporary Art Center of National Interest


1 February 2020, 2:30–6:30 pm

knead and talk

with Christine Armengaud (ethnologist specialising in food ritual figuration)

and Delphine Sicard (research director INRA, initiator of the ANR BAKERY project)

followed by a discussion and a PAIN COMMUN workshop


1 March 2020, starting 3 pm

closing discussion

"Changing Schools Radically"

Discussion with participants in the Open Schools movement and some of their heirs

Marie Preston


Marie Preston is an artist, an associate professor at Paris 8 Vincennes- Saint-Denis University and a member of Contemporary Arts and Images Laboratory and Teamed.


"Since 2003 my practice has consisted of research aimed at creating artworks– experiential documents – with people who a priori are not artists. Contact is established by starting an activity in a specific territory: knitting with

the Association of Malian Women in Montreuil; construction of wood-fired kilns in La Borne, the potters' village; travel on the vanished historic rights of way between Paris and its neighbouring municipalities; documentary work on the attempts at autonomous existence by the big technology networks; and the tropical garden in Nogent.


My approach is an attempt at artistic and ethnographic exploration of various situations in which the creative process requires methodical trial and error, so that each time I can set myself at the right distance and construct the work with the people involved. For 'cocreation' to happen a common space has to emerge and for that there has to be collaboration in the form of a reciprocal relationship in terms of knowledge and skills. This space looms larger with time and collective activity. Photographs, sculptures, performances and films take shape in circumstances ranging from feedback on experiments to collective action."


Prior to her exhibition Marie Preston will carry out a three-month research residency at the Ferme du Buisson Centre for Contemporary Art.

infos pratiques

opening hours

Wednesday – Sunday, 2 – 7:30 pm

open late on performance evenings


free admission


guided tours

for families

exhibition with a snack, 1st Sunday of the month, 4 pm

workshops for parents and children ages 5+, every other Wednesday and during school holidays, 5 € per child

story time visit, ages 3+, December 29th, 5 € per child


general public

"new style" visits every Saturday at 6 pm

guided tours on request

groups (book ahead: / +33 1 64 62 77 77)