Florence Derieux, Director of the FRAC, Reims, France (April 2013)

schermata-2016-10-03-alle-12-15-50-1Florence Derieux is Director of the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne in Reims, France. She is now working also for the fair Art Basel as curator of the 4th edition of Parcours (13-16 June 2013).





A conversation with Florence Derieux on FRAC Champagne-Ardenne and the project “Parcours” for the upcoming Art Basel 2013
  • Part 1 of 2

  • Part 2 of 2

During the first part of the conversation Derieux talks about this “scary but very fascinating moment in history. Everything is completely changing. Even in the art world, no one seems to understand what is happening. There was an article about Paul Schimmel (former chief curator of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Ed.), who is going to work for a new gallery that Hauser & Wirth will open in Los Angeles. Schimmel is one of the most admired curators. The fact that he is leaving the Museum means that the public institutions are not any longer able to keep people of such a quality within the institution itself. But this could also be seen as something new and interesting in terms of mutation. Maybe the public institutions are no longer a place where we can work independently and productively and without the independence that is required to produce high quality research.”

Derieux talks also about the institution she directs, the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne and the way they work and the relation they maintain with the Champagne-Ardenne region which has always been very active in terms of culture and politics. She mentions Grand Jeu, the group of poet working in Reims in the late 20s early 30s and whose research was very close to the Surrealists; the intellectual Roger Caillois whose work will be shown at the upcoming Venice Biennale. Most of the protagonists of the French Revolution were also present in Reims and in the Champagne-Ardenne region, such as Louise Michel and Georges Jacques Danton.

The FRAC Champagne Ardenne will remain closed for renovation for about 3 years. “Nobody wanted to pay for a temporary space so we are stopping the exhibitions. We are now developing new ways of working with the artists. In a way this is also exciting. At the moment, for example, we are developing projects with other institutions, and this is also another way of working. It is a big challenge for all of us. We are now organizing an exhibition with Agnes Denes at Firstsite in Colchester (UK). I am co-curating this exhibition with Michelle Cotton, Senior Curator at Firstsite. We are working with Krist Gruijthuijsen, director of the Kunstverein in Graz, on Lisa Oppenheim’s exhibition planned for February 2014. And we are also working on a project with Goshka Makuga whose work will be shown at the Madre Museum in Naples, the Museum directed by Andrea Viliani.”

During the second and last part, she speaks about ParcoursParcours is an art project taking place outside the fair, within the city of Basel. Galleries are applying with projects made by their artists. The proposed projects can be produced in difference locations within the city. Each year a new area of the city is chosen. This year the selected area is Klingental, a district very near the fair. The idea behind Parcours is to link the fair with the city of Basel, and create an event that could help involving the population to discover different areas of the city and the art world. Parcours is not only addressed to the visitors of the art fair.  “My role – Derieux says –  is to select the projects that galleries are proposing. And I am selecting them in relation to the locations that are available.”

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