Mathieu Briand

Galerie Maisonneuve

“Mr. and Mrs. Briand, the bakers of the ‘accursed bread,’ have left town on a pilgrimage to Lourdes.” “These inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit ate the bread. . . . Some had to be locked up in padded cells for several days.” “Mrs. Payen was the last to recover. . . . She sometimes still suffers from delirium.” A 1951 copy of Paris Match, opened to a sensationalist story on a mass poisoning by bread made from grain infected with ergot (a parasitic fungus found in rye and wheat), lay on a table in Mathieu Briand’s “Prologue” to the ten-chapter project “Ubïq: A Mental Odyssey.” Offering keys to what is to come, this prologue was a re-creation of Briand’s studio: a diverse collection of objects on four tables pushed up against one side of the gallery, with small paintings, notes, photocopies, and found objects on the wall space above.

The Briands of Pont-Saint-Esprit are not relatives of the

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 2007 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.