Artistes sans Frontières - event from 2022-1
A new beginning
The year 2021 was a year of significant changes for Artistes sans Frontières: At the end of 2021, after 17 years of presence, we left Paris to settle permanently in Brittany.
In 2019, a disaster followed by a major construction site disrupted our activities.
In 2020, the administrative closures and restrictions caused by the pandemic canceled all plans.
Unfortunately, sanitary measures made the reorganisation of our office into several workplaces obsolete. The room was too small to allow a sanitary distance between the creators.
The decision to abandon the Paris workshop was necessary, but we did not yet know where to go. Several options were on the table: set up the association in the center of France with Ferdinand, the current president, follow the former president, Isabelle, to Lac Lemans, return to the Midi, where the association was founded in 2000 , or rent another place in Ile de France. It is finally close to the sea, 3.5 hours from Paris by TGV, in the city of Quimper, that our new head office is located.
The new head office in Quimper
The pandemic has brought an unexpected and enriching aspect. When companies had to organise themselves to maintain their teleworking activity, internship places were canceled. In France, the internship is an integral part of many training courses. Following requests from my old school and spontaneous applications, Artistes sans Frontières decided to dedicate this waiting time, when our cultural life was suspended, to train trainees, with a preference for motivated people, who will not be the first choice of a company. We have created internet projects for our members and for the neighborhood, the trainees worked in alternating presence according to the gauges of the moment or at home with follow-up by video or by telephone.
We are very proud that many of these young and less young collaborators then passed their diploma, validated their year of university, found a work-study program or created their own activity in this field.
We learned a lot from this experience and even inspired a film, a short film, which we will present soon.
An unexpected aspect was also to confront people quite far from culture with modern art. A person attracted to programming and computers naturally favours order, things arranged meticulously in an easily understandable way. Abstract art seems chaotic, the artist wants to disturb, to thwart the attentions of an understandable order, he wants to force the viewer to make an effort to interpret what he sees.
Leaving after so many years was difficult, because you leave part of history and memories behind. Moving objects means also a lot of work. Our former interns and volunteers spent months packing the artwork, computer equipment and some furniture. The paintings, wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard, are fairly flat and manageable packages. Protecting the sculptures is more complicated. With the help of every blanket, cover and towel (and many of my winter clothes), they were transformed into very large and well-protected objects. Hats off to Zina, a true packaging artist! The artworks all arrived in good condition.
The most complicated thing to transport are the trees. They are big, bulky, impossible to protect, heavy and you can't put anything on them. Hats off to the team of movers, who were storage artists. They managed to transport a dozen trees - including a neighbour's tree - without breaking a branch.
40m3 of art works and plants traveled by truck; but the computers, a few fragile objects and the parrot took the TGV. Dozens of plants have found a new home with neighbours. The robbed neighbour won in the exchange.
New place in Quimper
The association has taken over the ground floor of a large house, the old living room has become an office and exhibition space, and Zina and I are working on a concept to transform the old garage into a showroom and artist's studio. We are already supported by a few local members and volunteers.
We have resumed our website development activities, we are offering new internship places for developers and we are preparing an exhibition in autumn 2022.
Artistes sans Frontières - France - 06 32 95 40 90