S1 Ep1: Fondation D’Entreprise Ricard & the Prix Ricard – Parisphere
Written by Parisphere on March 15, 2018
This Blog Post accompanies Parisphere: Episode 1: Fondation D’Entreprise Ricard & the Prix Ricard
Produced, written & presented by Audrey Concannon.
Editors: Théo Donadieu & Cécelia Revel-Maiga
Music composed and arranged by Cécelia Revel-Maiga
“…the artists I have selected all have a common characteristic… they are real artists in the sense that they really inhabit what they think, what they do, and there is a form of genuineness in their practice that’s non-negotiable.”
“Our space in Brussels is a sort of pedestal for other artists that we bring for exhibitions… the idea of community, even friendship somehow, which is not something people are talking that much about in the art world… but we are in this field of community or collaboration… this is something important.”
(Victor Delestre from Deborah Bowmann)
“…that’s what we also try to do with Deborah Bowmann… exploring industrial techniques but still making them by hand, and also the idea of function… architecture as the most collaborative space ever, as a space where everybody’s involved… this is something important to us, a total approach, a sort of art total.”
(Victor Delestre from Deborah Bowmann)
“… the practice of an artist is to do what you should not do…”
Welcome to the Parisphere podcast. My name is Audrey Concannon and during each episode of this arts and culture podcast based in Paris, I will be talking to artists and curators from across the arts and culture spectrum. I’ll be visiting fairs, exhibitions, museums, art spaces and lots more.
The goal is to share local perspectives on the Parisian scene, and hopefully introduce listeners to some of the artists and spaces – possibly not immediately familiar to visitors – that compose this truly vibrant arts scene right here in Paris.
This first episode is devoted to The Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, the site of the Ricard Company’s art sponsorship, which is probably most famous for the production of Pernod and Ricard pastis drinks. Created in 1999, the Fondation was one of the first spaces dedicated to young, emerging artists from the French art scene and it’s been an important facilitator for a whole generation of artists.
Situated in the heart of Paris, discreetly sandwiched between the Place de la Concorde, the WH Smith English Bookshop, the Jeu de Paume museum and the very chic rue Saint Honoré, the foundation is a venue for exhibitions, creativity and encounters in the context of art in its most contemporary forms.
It is also a place of exchange and discussion: each month the public is invited to take part in debates in a spontaneous and welcoming atmosphere.
Every year a different curator is invited to organise an exhibition at the Foundation presenting a new group of artists under the age of 40. The Prix Ricard is then awarded to one of the artists, by a jury composed of art collectors, museum directors and the curators of the previous Prix Ricard exhibition. The Centre Pompidou then purchases an artwork by the winner – which becomes part of its permanent collection – and this really represents quite significant recognition for the young artist.
I spoke to the Fondation’s Project Manger Antonia Scintilla about its origins and what the Prix Ricard means for young artists on the French scene. She explained that the winner is announced at the end of the Fiac – the foremost annual contemporary art fair in Paris.
Founder and director of the Foundation, Colette Barbier decided to establish the Foundation in this central location in the heart of Paris and she also created the Ricard Prize. She set out to promote a strong collection with an important museum, hence the on going relationship with the Centre Pompidou. For the 19th edition of the Prix, Colette Barbier invited a young curator named Anne-Claire Schmitz to curate the 2017 Prix Ricard exhibition, which is entitled Les Bons Sentiments.
Anne-Claire Schmitz is the founding director and curator of La Loge, a Brussels-based non-profit space that commenced its activities in 2012. Since its opening, La Loge has developed projects with artists including Sophie Nys, Roe Ethridge & Zin Taylor, Kate Newby, Peter Hutton, UP, Emily Wardill, Shana Moulton, Michael Beutler, Gareth Moore and Arvo Leo among others.
Anne-Claire talked to me about her selection of the six artists nominated for the 2017 Prix Ricard, describing it as an “intuitive” process. She went on to explain the choice of the exhibition’s title: “Les Bons Sentiments”. She talked about the celebratory nature common to the practice of the six artists selected for the prize. The winner will have one of their artworks purchased for the Centre Pompidou collection and will benefit from a residency in Los Angeles in collaboration with FLAX.
Of the six artists selected for the prize (Deborah Bowmann, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Lola Gonzalez, Thomas Jeppe, Caroline Mesquita, Zin Taylor), I spoke to Amaury Daurel and Victor Delestre who form the Deborah Bowman partnership, which is both an artistic identity and an exhibition space in Brussels. Their activities include curating exhibitions through collaboration with young artists, in addition to producing furniture and display design for shops. The pair discusses their curatorial and studio practice, their interest in shop displays as well as materials and techniques. They describe their collaboration with different areas of expertise and this mix of the artisanal with industrial techniques.The eventual winner of the 2017 Prize was in fact the young Paris-based artist Caroline Mesquita who presented a series of metal sculptures of motorbikes in a retro-futurist aesthetic. She is particularly fascinated by oxidization as an element of contamination and transformation and in somehow capturing and fixing secretions, colour bleeds and perspirations into the metal sculptures. She discusses her creative process and the project conceived for the Prix Ricard.
If you would like to know more about the Fondation Ricard, the Foundation’s website features all its activities, plus information on current exhibitions and events: https://www.fondation-entreprise-ricard.com
Thanks for listening to this episode of Parisphere, the arts & culture podcast based in Paris.