Elsa Bres


Elsa Brès was born in 1985 and lives in Bréau, in the Cévennes region (France). She graduated from Le Fresnoy – studio national d’arts contemporains in 2017 and from the Paris-Belleville School of Architecture in 2012.

Her films and installations focus on forces of resistance in contemporary landscapes, and blend researches, narratives and experimentations. She is currently developing a new film in the rural French region where she lives, which deals with wild boars as allies : Les Sanglières.

Her recent exhibitions and screenings include: FID Marseille (2020, 2016), transmediale (2022, 2021), State of Concept Athens (2022), Vdrome (2022), Cincinnati Contemporary art center (2022), MO.CO Panacée (2021), Manifesta 13 (2021), CRAC Occitanie (2020), Tënk (2021), 66e Salon de Montrouge (2022), Hong-Kong University architecture (2021), Haus der Kulturen der Welt Anthropocene curriculum (2019).
Her films are produced within the production collectives Parkadia films and Elinka films.


Elsa Brès probes, paces, gathers, and observes. She explores with her camera, puts things into perspective, and constructs narratives. With her polyphonic films, she draws up a sensible cartography of the territories she films, which she is always linked to by an affective bond. From her studies in architecture, Elsa Brès retains a keen eye for the layout of social-natural landscapes: the Mississippi Delta (Sweat, 2020) , a seaside town in Northern France (Stella 50.4N1.5E, 2016) , an abandoned canal (Love Canal, 2017), forests and villages in the Cévennes (Les Sanglières, in progress)– all these landscapes bear the scars of many modes of exploitation. But it is through the living world that she weaves her narratives, and the protagonists in her films, humans, more-than-humans, show us another way of inhabiting and imagining worlds based on the territories we live in and have the power to transform. 

Starting from hypotheses and alternative narratives, Elsa Brès’ films seek to uncover the opaque and marginal layers that exist beneath the official narratives of certain places with complex systems and infrastructures. Densifying her research over an extended period, the artist extracts fragments of the film in the making which to show independently in exhibitions. It allows her to experiment with the shooting devices and varying types of images, while experimenting with the narrative of moving images in exhibition spaces. In these works, she integrates, for example, poetry, considerations from environmental philosophy or experimental cartographies – like these visual interpretations sketched from the data generated by a study of the habitability of the forest in one of her latest installation Notes for les Sanglières (2021).”


(excerpts from texts by Lou Ferrand (second paragraph) and Stefania Meazza (first paragraph))


Elsa Brès

1985, Bréau, France

Lives and works between Les Cévennes and Paris



2017 Post-graduate Program in Contemporary Art and Cinema. Le Fresnoy. Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Tourcoing

2012 Master of Architecture. Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville, Paris

2011 Studies in Experimental Cinema & Design Philosophy. Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle, Paris

2008 Bachelor of Architecture. Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville, Paris

2006 B.A. in Philosophy & Geography. La Sorbonne, Paris


Grants & Awards

2023 Art Situacions III Award. Honda-Green Powers

2022 TËNK x MEDIAPART Award. Tënk & Mediapart / Audiovisual Arts Grant. Centre National du Cinéma et de le Image Animée

2020 DDA Award (Selected Artist). Documents d’Artistes Occitanie / Talents Contemporains Award (Finalist). Fondation François Schneider / Production Grant. Mécenes du Sud / Artistic Project Grant. Centre National des Arts Plastiques / DICRéAM Grant for Multimedia and Numeric Art. Centre National du Cinéma et de le Image Animée

2019 Creation Grant. Région Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée

2018 8th Jeune Création Prize de Saint-Rémy (nomination). Moulin des Arts de Saint-Rémy

2017 LOOP Discover Award (nomination). LOOP Barcelona / Émergences Prize (finalist). LaScam



2021-2022 Slow Motion, CAC Chanot, Clamart

2019 Le Dôme, Tours / Delta Workers, New Orleans / L’Orfévrerie, Saint-Denis

2018 Le Dôme, Tours / Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris 


Duo & Solo Shows (Selection)

2022 State of Concept. Bona Fide 2, Athens

2021 remote. response. request. Elsa Bres & Maud Craigie. Transmediale, Berlin

2020 Canal Royal. CRAC Occitanie, Sete 


Group Shows

2023 Art Situacions III. ARCO Madrid 2023, Madrid

2022 Breaking Water. Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati / Salon de Montrouge. Paris/Montrouge, Paris / From The Shore to The Mudpool. Icelandic Art Center, Hjalteyri

2021 Ordained, Horny and Horned. Spazio Veda, Florence / Sol!. MO.CO, Montpellier / Le cour de l’eau, la cour et l’eau. La Cuisine Centre d’Art, Négrepelisse / I Scream Ice Cream. Espace Niemeyer, Paris

2019 Anthropocene Curriculum: Mississippi. HKW (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), Berlin & Tulane University, New Orleans / Aube immédiate, vents tièdes. Mécenes du Sud, Montpellier / Videobox. Le Carreau du Temple, Paris / Week-end at Charlie’s. Vandenhove Centre for Architecture and Art, Gant / The Wrong Biennale #5. Speak Volumes Pavilion, Online / Les Saturnales. Part 3 (La mue de l’Arc). Atelier Berger Mila, Paris / Proyector 2019 Festival. Conde Duque, Madrid / Art-o-rama Art Fair. La Friche, Marseille / Blind Swamp. Domaine de Candé, Monts / Présages. CACN Centre d’Art Contemporain de Nîmes, Nîmes / Sur la page abandonnée. Volume 3. Au lieu Gallery, Paris

2018 Terra Incognita. Saison Video, Online / LOOP Barcelona Collective Exhibition. GlogauAIR, Berlin / Jeune Création 68 Collective Exhibition. École des Beaux- Arts de Paris, Paris / Jeune Création de Saint-Rémy Collective Exhibition. L’Atelier Blanc, Saint-Rémy, Aveyron / XVII Festival Internacional de la Imagen. Multiple venues, Manizales / Le Dôme Festival. Multiple venues, Montbazon / Correspondances. Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris

2017 LOOP Barcelona Collective Exhibition. Almanac Barcelona, Barcelona / Le Reve des Formes. Palais de Tokyo, Paris / Videoproject. Palais des Beaux Arts d’Angers, Angers / III Istanbul Design Biennale. Multiple venues, Istanbul / Agora Architecture Biennale. Hangar 14, Bordeaux / Roman-Panorama 19. Le Fresnoy. Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing / Territoire Frugal. Archibooks Gallery, Paris

2016 Panorama 18. Le Fresnoy. Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing / Demain dès l’aube. Primo Piano Gallery, Paris

2013 Habiter le grand Paris. Le Centquatre-Paris, Paris

2010 A Model Heuristic. Université de Montréal, Montréal


Screenings (Selection)

2022 Notes for les Sanglièrs. Vdrome, online / Stella50.4N1.5E. Yale University, New Haven / Sweat. BBB centre d’art, Toulouse / Sweat. Museum d’Histoire Naturelle Paris, Paris / Forêts Queer. Monographic screening. Saison France Portugal, Le Vigan

2021 Sweat. Usak International Film Festival, Usak / Sweat. Kasseler Dokfest, Kassel / Sweat. Centre d’art Le Lait, Tarn / Sweat. Tënk, online

2020 Sweat. FID Marseille, Marseille / Sweat. Vidéodrome2: Manifesta 13, Marseille / Screening and talk. Proximate Space: Hong Kong University, Hong Kong / Love Canal. VHS: Le Houloc, Aubervilliers

2019 Love Canal. Let Us Reflect Film Festival, La Chapelle Saint-Jacques / Love Canal. La Chambre Verte, Auteuil / Love Canal. Festival de la Jeune Vidéo, Paris / Love Canal. Laterale Film Festival, Cosenza / Love Canal. Down to a Sunless Sea, Paris / Love Canal + Stella50.4N1.5E. Southern Rep Theatre, New Orleans / Stella50.4N1.5E. Revolutions per Minute, Boston

2018 Love Canal. Circuito Nomadica, Bologna / Love Canal. Fronteras Destruidas: Lima Independiente Film Festival, Lima / Love Canal. Laterale Film Festival, Cosenza / Screening series. Jeune Création 68, Paris / Love Canal. Fracto, Berlin

2017 Stella50.4N1.5E. FID Marseille, Marseille / Stella50.4N1.5E. Deframed: Hamburg Short Film Festival, Hamburg / Stella50.4N1.5E. Silvestre: IndieLisboa, Lisbon / Stella50.4N1.5E. Expérience: Un Festival C’est Trop Court, Nice / Stella50.4N1.5E. Shared Sight, Cluj-Napoca / Stella50.4N1.5E. Fracto, Berlin / Stella50.4N1.5E. 20 ans du Fresnoy: Villa Médicis, Rome / Screening and talk. Object Oriented Ontology: Tainan National University of the Arts, Tainan / Stella50.4N1.5E. Transient Visions, New York / Occuper-Disparaître. Le Génie d’Alex, Paris

2016 Stella50.4N1.5E. 25 FPS Film Festival, Zagreb / Stella50.4N1.5E. Kasseler Dokfest, Kassel / Stella50.4N1.5E. Génie du Lieu, Tourcoing

2015 Catharsis. Cinéma Aventure, Brussels

2013 Imaginaire du Grand Paris. Le Forum des Images, Paris



2022 Les Sanglières (in development). Produced by Elinka Films, Gaëlle Boucand and Elise Florenty

2021 Notes for Les Sanglières (17 minutes)

2020 Sweat (30 minutes). Produced by Parkadia, Elise Florenty and Clémentine Roy

2017 Love Canal (18 minutes). Produced by Le Fresnoy

2016 Stella50.4N1.5E (15 minutes). Produced by Le Fresnoy


Lectures & Workshops

Professor of Theory and Architecture at Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paris- Belleville since 2012

2022 “A propos des Notes pour Les Sanglieres”, Festival des Gestes de la Recherche. Beaux-Arts de Grenoble, Grenoble / “Landscape of care”, FAUP International Conference. Porto School of Architecture, Porto / “Topographie/speculation”. École d’Architecture de l’Université de Montréal, Montreal / “Les Sanglieres” (work in progress), Slow Motion. Centre d’Art Contemporain Chanot, Clamart / “Les Sanglieres” (work in progress), Transmediale. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

2021 “Forets Queer”, Saison France-Portugal. Le Vigan

2020 “Architecture to cinema”. Hong Kong University, Hong Kong / “Films situés”. School of Fine Arts of Marseille, Marseille

2019 “Mississippi: the anthropocene river”. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin & Tulane University, New Orleans / “PACTE”. La Maréchalerie centre d’art contemporain, Versailles

2018 “Le Fresnoy de Bernard Tschumi revisité”, Cité de l’Architecture, Paris / “La Fabrique du Regard”, Cultures de demain (le Bal x ADAGP). Le Bal, Paris

2017-2018 “Écriture sonore de l’image”. Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing / “Object-Oriented- Ontology”. Tainan National University of the Arts, Tainan

2017 “Archéologie digitale”. Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing / “LOVE CANAL: an object ecology”, Tainan National University of the Arts, Tainan

2016 “Wear, Landscape, Point Cloud, Mississippi”, Demain dès l’Aube. Primo Piano Gallery, Paris

2015 “Videoguide”, Appréhender autrement les quartiers populaires, la Dynamo, Pantin

2013 “Dessiner le territoire par le montage”, Enjeux interdisciplinaires émergents pour comprendre, projeter et fabriquer la ville de demain, Futurs Urbains, Paris

2012-2015 “Mala-Science-fiction”. School Le Corbusier, Aubervilliers

Artwork in Exhibition