Talking about a contemporary art network in the context of a European cooperation project, we must first address the notion of meetings between different actors in the world of art, but also mobility, sharing, exchange and discoveries that have generated a strong enrichment for us and the emergence of new ecosystems.
The Spur is the work of seven partners who were able to unite around a common project where each of the structures was able to develop many collaboration projects across its territory but also to go to discover new territories, to new art scenes and new operating modes.
In the case of Bureau des Arts et Territoires, we have the possibility, in the context of action 2 – Innovation, to explore different types of residences through our new structure partnerships and artists we have welcomed.
Doing it meant activating different networks associated with our activities in the field of contemporary art, but also well beyond to other disciplines in order to initiate cross-cutting projects.
In a first residence period, we were able to collaborate with the Art Center La Panacée MoCo which recently took a new direction, to develop what will be a great project coordinated by Nicolas Bourriaud intended to open in 2019, bringing together the Art Center La Panacée that is now part of the MoCo, a multi-site structure dedicated to contemporary art, which also includes the Montpellier school of Contemporary fine arts and the Montcalm Hotel.
We hadn’t had the opportunity to seek La Panacée MoCo so far but it’s pretty natural that we have turned to this art centre which had previously led a cross-border project between 2014 and 2016 with some partners in common. The ETAC (Espaces Transfrontaliers d’Art Contemporain) project aimed to provide a platform to build new audiences for contemporary art and establish a centre for an artists residency program. It was a project supported by the Euroregion Pyrénées Méditerranée, which also had the goal of creating a structure of cooperation between five centres of art amongst which we find the contemporary art centre, Bòlit of Girona and Le Lait of Albi.
La Panacée MoCo offered an opportunity to the artist Federico Gori to have a space for Studio work as well as accommodation on site. Ideal conditions were met for the artist to develop his research in a shared environment and enabled him to expand his network by organizing visits to workshops for many professionals.
In a second residence period, the artist Federica Di Carlo was able to work in a co-working space, Brousse workshop, in contact with other professionals in the field of creation (designers, architects, and landscape). Finding a relevant co-working space grouping that related disciplinary fields was a first challenge made possible through our networks. In parallel, a new challenge was waiting for us as the needs of the artist and his research focused on Science, so we had to go looking for scientists and approach the cultural service of the University of sciences of Montpellier who helped the artist to meet with researchers at the laboratory «Universe and particle» and develop his research project which ended with a meeting between the public and scientists in a very symbolic place, the Babote Tower, former Observatory of the sky of Montpellier.
Thirdly, there was the context of an immersion in a company where the artist Miriam Hamann was able to conduct her research work. The Office of the Arts and territories had to go looking for a company ready to carry out this experiment and who could offer good conditions of residence for an artist. We turned to ID Scenes which is a company located in Montpellier, specializing in the performing arts, mapping, and audiovisual facilities. The artist could benefit from their know-how, their technical knowledge and important material facilities to complete her research during 2 months.
It was an opportunity for the artist to question her artistic practice; to observe, exchange, share, develop, invent and innovate have been at the heart of this residence.
Finally, a multitude of networks coexist and sometimes even their members are unaware of them, they may be professional but also social and go well beyond the field of contemporary art which ultimately has no border.
All these experiences have opened opportunities for collaborations which will certainly go beyond the project The Spur.