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Offline in Neukolln: Feminist cyber art gets real

INTERVIEW! Meet the Laeitia Duveau, the girl breaking the internet with her online art platform Curated By Girls and get a load of her aesthetic IRL Oct 8-9 at Blender & Co in Neukölln.

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By Julia De La Torre

Meet Laetitia Duveau, the brand new curator who’s blowing up Berlin’s cyber space with her online platform Curated by Girls (CBG). An artist herself, Laetitia dove into the world of visual-art curation when she moved to Berlin from France in March creating a distinct aesthetic of bright pastels and quirky gender-bending content. This baby collective has only been alive for six months but has already garnered considerable buzz for their first IRL show this weekend, with 26 artists from around the globe showcasing prints, photographs, and drawings that explore the “New Femininity” of the internet age.  

How did CBG come to be? 

Well I started the website with my good friend Ophelie Rondeau back in April. We wanted to create a platform for artists of all genres and backgrounds to be seen and recognised. Just after we launched the site she had to leave CBG to focus on personal projects, so I found myself figuring it out on my own. Even though curating was completely new to me I wanted to continue with the project because I believe in it so much, sharing with others the amazing work of these talented artists feels like my way of making the world a little bit of a better place. 

Where does your name come from? 

The name is simple but descriptive, I’m a girl who curates artwork – It doesn’t need to be fancier than that. The term ‘girl’ is more comfortable to say than ‘woman’ because it has a less serious ring to it and I wanted the name to be fun because I’m having fun.  

How do you select artists and artworks for CBG? 

I get most submissions online but I also always have my eyes open for art I like — whether it’s on Instagram or hanging in a coffee shop or painted on the side of a mailbox. I’m not a professional curator, I’m just sensitive to art and I love to share it. There’s no specific idea in my mind of what I want for the website when I’m looking at artwork. Usually I just get the feeling that a piece fits with what I am doing and I go from there. I worked as a casting assistant back in France and oddly my experience evaluating which actor would be natural for a role prepared me to trust my instinct about what fits well within the aesthetic of CBG. Personally, I love bright colours but above all I want the work to feel authentic and honest – I couldn’t give you a checklist of qualities, it’s a gut thing.

What have you learned as a curator? 

CBG is my first experience with curating so I’ve been learning everything as I go. I’m a naturally shy person so it was a challenge to put myself out there to so many people and let them know I was in charge. Now I feel a lot more comfortable figuring things out as I go because I have confidence in myself.

What’s the future of CBG?

I think I’m addicted to curating now. I love looking for new artists and putting on shows so I want CBG to continue for a long time. We’re about to have our first actual show but I imagine IRL shows are something we could put on every season, taking it to other places like LA and Paris. Right now we have artists from all over the world, many of whom can’t make it to the show this weekend because of distance, but if the show travelled they would have a chance to see how their art works in context with the other artists’ pieces. We could build a real community, maybe even work with other curators to expand our network.

Tell us about your show in Neukölln this weekend! 

The theme of “New Femininity” wasn’t in my mind when I was selecting work from the artists on our online platform, it emerged later when I was looking at the prints of the art altogether and I noticed this fresh take on gender. This show is an extremely important milestone for CBG because it’s our first exhibition offline. The internet has served me so well in being able to find and contact artists but it’s important that people see these works in person – it’s more intentional. We see most of our media on screens nowadays, so it’s good to break up that monotony and get people together. The IRL show will be a great event, there will be zines with work by our featured artists, prints available for purchase and on Saturday there’ll be a raffle for a BLANK Instant camera! Drinks, art, and no cover – what more could you ask for? 

Freer In Berlin: The New Femininity, Oct 8-9 | Blender & Co, Boddinstraße 32, Neukölln, U-Bhf Boddinstraße.