18 January 2016
Translation: Fleur Pellerin Wants to Put Contemporary Art in Your Building
This article by Quentin Périnel was originally published in French in Le Figaro on December 16, 2015.
More than 1,000 works of art per year will be integrated into the construction of a building over the whole of French territory. Thirteen developers are joining this process in order to encourage contemporary creativity.
Bringing together artists and construction so that a building becomes a work of art, whether it’s a commercial or residential building — this is the ambition of the new program “One Building, One Work of Art” inaugurated with great pomp at the Ministry of Culture this Tuesday. In total, thirteen great actors in the real estate sector (including BNP Paribas Real Estate, Eiffage Immobilier and also Vinci Immobilier) have signed a specific charter. These companies are committing to commissioning or buying a work of art from an artist for all real estate projects to be built or renovated.
“In our professions, we are not concerned with art a priori. However, when the minister spoke of this project, we were taken,” explained with enthusiasm Alexandra François-Cuxac, president of the FPI (Fédération des promoteurs immobiliers [Federation of Real Estate Developers]), before the different developers each signed the famous charter. “This rapprochement between art and construction is symbolic. We must no longer employ Manichean thinking: putting in opposition the new and the old, the owner and the renter … This project is both visionary and fascinating,” she added.
A Measure that Is Being Launched Over the Entire Territory
“By mobilizing its regional and central directors, my ministry will support this measure intended to be launched throughout the entire territory,” explained Minister Fleur Pellerin, citing the architect Walter Groupius, who as early as 1919 was already inviting his contemporaries to consider art an integral part of architecture … That was nearly 100 years ago. What exactly is behind the “One Building, One Work of Art” project, apart from the desire to provide the most people with the opportunity to live and/or work in contact with a work of art?
Minister Fleur Pellerin’s yearlong policy of supporting contemporary art is at its homestretch, and there are more than 1,000 works that will be created or bought each year and exhibited all over French territory. They are projects that should provoke a dialogue, inspire a sensitivity, as well as promote contemporary creativity — a creativity that is “our future heritage,” according to the words used by the ministry’s press release.
“Today, contemporary art carries undisputed weight. It’s the fight for creativity that I hold dear, at a time when contemporary artists see their pieces ransacked in public,” concluded Fleur Pellerin. Now it remains to be seen how the French people will take this innovative project.