The first stage of the European Tour of contemporary art, which was initiated by Mayor Jean-Loup Metton for this second edition of the Biennial of Young European Creation
, drew to a conclusion in Montrouge this past October 25. Some 5000 visitors came to La Fabrique to discover the new avenues being explored by 90 contemporary artists in 9 European countries: Austria, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, and Slovakia.
Paintings, drawings, videos, sculptures, installations
their works interacted with each other and revealed the variety of themes being addressed through the prism of contemporary art. While some revisit the history of art with a critical view, others pair a heightened social and political awareness with an attempt to build new worlds
Art is particularly important in a time of crisis because the avant-garde compels us to open our eyes and take a step back, and facilitates awareness, comments Jean-Loup Metton.
Highlights of the JCE Biennial: the Grand Prize, Round Table, and Auction
► The Grand Prize of the 2009 JCE Jury is an excellent example. Indeed, the 9 commissioners awarded a collective of Hungarian artists: Janos Milhaly Hubler, Marta Racz, Tamas Szentirmai, and Jano Vagi for their work entitled Grow structures, metamorphoses of the substance. By trapping bookssymbols of culturein a block of concrete, this installation reveals the uncertainties felt by the artists in the current creative context.
► In an attempt to air their questions, a round table invited professionals from the art world to discuss the artists status in contemporary European art. Philippe Régnier, editor of Journal des Arts, was surrounded by Patrick Bongers, Director of Galerie Louis Carré & Cie (Paris) and President of the Professional Committee of Art Galeries; Stéphane Corréard, Artistic Commissioner for the French selection of the JCE Biennial; Laurent Moszkowicz, Head of the Plastic Arts Section at La Malterie (Lille) and co-president of the FRAAP (Federation of Plastic Artist Networks and Associations); Pascal Murgier, head of the Artists Status Office of the Plastic Arts Delegation, Ministry of Culture and Communication; and Franck Scurti, artist.
Hailing the Montrouge City Hall for its Contemporary Art Show initiative and the Biennial of Young European Creation, Stéphane Corréard stressed the need on this occasion for artists to unite in order to gain recognition as artists. And while Patrick Bongers pointed to the need to make the market more dynamic, Stéphane Corréard added: the art of collecting must be democratized.
► By giving international visibility to artists who, for the most part, have just graduated from art schools, the City of Montrouge is allowing them to enter the art market and gain their first recognition. For instance, some fifty works made by young artists present at the 54th Contemporary Art Show in Montrouge found their first collectors as part of the JCE Biennial. Under the auspices of auctioneer Pierre Cornette de Saint-Cyr, the highest amount fetched was 1100 for Excitation by Olivier Bartolleti and CBINY by Thomas Agrinier.
As a reminder, Marie-Odile Hubert, a young French photographer, won the JCE Grand Prize in 2007. In her own words: The Montrouge event and the JCE Biennial gave me the confidence and legitimacy needed to stand among professionals. My work is now carried by a gallery in Paris.
What about after Montrouge ?
Untill 2011, the Biennial of Young European Creation (JCE) and ist tour of Europe will go on
Itinerary in 7 stages:
· Klaïpeda (Lithuania) / March > April 2010
Art Exhibition Hall
· Bratislava (Slovakia) / July > August 2010
· Pécs (Hungary) / September > October 2010
Art Exhibition Hall
· Salzburg (Austria) / January 2011
Galerie im Taklaus
· Genoa (Italy) / February > March 2011
· LHospitalet de Llobregat (Spain) / April > June 2011
Cultural Center of Tecla Sala
· Amarante (Portugal) / June > J