Hélène Baril is a Parisian based artist. After getting an MA in literature, she quit her job teaching French to study art. In Finland, she started developing a narrative involving racecars as characters. She is working with various media, including drawing, painting and writing. Her experimental approach is based on her interest in posthumanities, science fiction and new narratives. Hélène Baril has exhibited in numerous venues in France, Finland, Switzerland, the United States and Colombia. Her collaborative works have been presented at locations such as WIELS (Brussels), Cooper Union (NYC) and Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart).

A road of prose is unknown in advance. Where it goes is both the reader’s and the writer’s guess. When you set out on such a road, the words write the words to follow. If you have an intention, it quickly gets lost in words you never expected to see in the first place. It is as if you have taken a wrong turn onto a wide toll highway, with a destination in mind at first but now missed. The wrong miles stretch ahead of you and you may not have enough money to pay the toll to turn around and go back again. You ever -  accumulating outrage and alienation  turn into the content of your journey now. The prose becomes a story about the progress of a hope.
If a dog crosses the highway, it becomes part of the prose road, because it is by now a story where there are contengencies, surprise entries, relations. The story is like the driver of a car who is lost. The driver has heightened, even burning consciousness of the weird, the accidental, the danger of weather and health. The driver laughs by herself. Surreal flash-memories of her known life take on a comic dimension. She curses herself as an idiot who despites everything, wants things to control the world. She wants that so much she might think, « I meant to get lost ». She might pause by a cliff and consider suicide. Feel the gravity hawl at her bones when she stands at the ledge of air. But she backs away and drives on. She never mentions this episode to anyone. The reader might pause at the same time and think of abandoning the book, but be unable to do so. It would be too intentional in the situation of complete randomness in which she and the heroine are living for this time. Such a long error with repetitive surge of hope and disappointment, the error becoming the actual fate (perhaps even the pre-determined one !) can develop into a metaphysical desire or stay wholly modern. In this latter case, there is little distinction between living people outside the book/car and imaginary people the head/car of the driver / writer. Not only a dog might wander by, but also Michael Jackson or Vaclav Havel. There is nothing metaphysical here, only the developed world bouncing on air.

Fanny Howe, A Great Ride, foreword to Torpor by Chris Krauss

A new page which works as a personal workshop/studio for drawing experiments. Meanwhile drawing painting and writing projects take shape, be it through magazines, workshops, online gallery.
Une nouvelle page qui fonctionne comme un atelier pour des expériences de dessin. Dans le même temps, les projets de dessins peinture et d'écriture prennent forme, que ce soit à travers des revues, des workshops,  une galerie en ligne.

Champ de patates numéro 100

Looking for the imaginary vehicle

Paris - Missouri,

76 x 56 cm, techniques mixtes

Turtle Island used to being the name given by native Americans – more precisely Iroquois- to what is now called North America.

According to Iroquois oral history Sky woman fell down to the earth when it was covered with water. Various animals tried to swim to the bottom of the ocean to bring back dirt to create land. Muskrat succeeded in gathering dirt, which was placed on the back of a turtle, which grew in the land known today as North America.

As I was about to go on a residency freshly launched by friends in Greece, I was told the key topic would be « the limits of the state ».
Turtle Island seemed to be a very relevant way of approaching the reflexion. A reflexion that would not be one, that would present itself in the guise of fiction. But fiction is the one thing that makes us think (without believing we hold the truth), I believe.
Everything made sense, suddenly. The story started to find its characters and narration components.
America, where I have been recently and where I will go soon again,
(talking now of the United States), actually is Turtle Island. This is not a discovery in terms of oral stories, but it is a pretty great way for a character like Don Quijote to bump into reality again.  So what if Don Quijote decides to look for Turtle Island ? He will never find it, but he will for sure show us some of its fantasies. Or he will find it, and present us a land which real features can endorse mythical or utopian ones. The USA will always be Turtle Island, at the end – even though most of us forgot about it.
This is how reality and fiction bump into each other again. This is how fiction affects reality, in a joyful movement.
Don Quijote is bored with his being a man. He can be Donna Quixote.
Another matter of happiness.
There are other components to the story. Actually there are many and I can’t recall them all. 

Now. What if Donna Quixote’s armorial is inspired by the Cadillac one. And what about a vehicle that unites these two fictions, made out of realities. What about making that happen on Turtle Island. 

Turtle Island, for Klima, Paros, Greece

Medellin, Colombia
Campos de Gutierrez Residency

Behind the Scenes of the Sea Theater

Windmill, 2015

The Wonder of Dreams, 2014

South by SouthWest, 2013

Shell Bar Kar 

Argus : october 2011 - july 2012

Orlandus, pilote automobile et poète.

Il se dit qu’Orlandus est née en 1920 à Viipuri, Karelia, Finlande. On rapporte qu’elle était peintre, poète et conductrice automobile. Elle est aussi l’âme de SBK.
 SBK vient su­­r terre le 1er mars 1805 à Kÿröskoski, toute petite bourgade du sud ouest de la Finlande où il ne fait pas si bon vivre, tout simplement parce qu’il y fait froid les ¾ de l’année et que la neige survit au printemps.
SBK c’est d‘abord une entreprise familiale de taxidermie. Martta Jantunen gère la Maison Mère de ses doigts de chair et d’empailleuse de cerfs.
En 1890 un des héritiers Jantunen épouse le Français Elie Baril, propriétaire d’une petite entreprise de barriques conçues pour le transport du vin.  Au tournant du siècle donc, le commerce du vin s’introduit en Finlande et met au défi bière et vodka. Taxidermie et transport viticole s’associent au nom d’une alchimie majestueuse. Les bêtes mortes-vivantes sont bien traitées, les barriques protégées, cadenassées, aussi coites qu’un malhonnête Finlandais.
A partir de 1930 l’entreprise familiale s‘élargit considérablement.  Sûr de l’amour et du savoir-faire de ses chérubins, SBK songe à se ruer vers l’or.  Les carrioles  se débarrassent de leurs barriques et de leurs dépouilles velues et font couler l’or noir déniché tout au nord, dans la douce et rude Laponie.
La jeune Orlandus, cadette des sœurs Jantunen-Baril mais aussi fille par elle-même fantasmée du nécromancien Métrocolus, est une force de la nature. Son goût pour la vitesse automobile lui est révélé très tôt. Sa première Citroën C4 a le ventre plein du pétrole raffiné par SBK. C’est en 1946 qu’Orlandus attire l’attention. Cette année là, lors du rallye de Monte Carlo, au simple démarrage en première son véhicule se colore de rouge, de bleu foncé et de bleu clair comme une aile de papillon. Mais ce sont ses voyages automobiles en solitaire qui la rendent célèbre. Beaucoup ont encore en tête sa traversée de la Sibérie sans les mains. Chaque aventure automobile, disait-elle, n’est que l’expression de cette sphère d’amour où s’insinue la haine.
En mémoire de ces performances, l’entreprise familiale SBK envisage de basculer le champ de son commerce dans celui de l’art. En 1955 le magasin principal est transformé en atelier pour artistes. En 1965 SBK rénove plusieurs de ses stations service pour en faire des lieux de restauration ouverts à tout public. 1975 est probablement l’année décisive. C’est à cette date que le Spoon Gang, collectif d’artistes issu d’un autre no man’s land enneigé, tombe amoureux du projet et décide d’étendre le concept à tous les quartiers du monde rural. La tradition rapporte que ce mouvement artistique se définit par son exclusion du monde urbain, sa collection d’autos et sa duplication à l’infini de l’image d’Orlandus, symbole de toutes les vies imaginaires. Il se dit qu’elle fut trouvée un jour desséchée par la faim, au volant de sa dernière Porsche papillon.