40mcube of artistic energy, and more..
We went to Rennes to discover the new 40mcube spaces, a contemporary art centre reopened since February 10th, after several years of closure for works. And above all we met its director Anne Langlois.
Mowwgli: What is the story and the 40mcube dna?
Anne Langlois: It’s a place I founded 17 years ago with my collaborator Patrice Goasduff. We started with a small space of 36 M2 which gave its name to 40mcube. The initial idea was to work with young artists, to enable them to produce their works and present them to the public. Support from A to Z from production to presentation and mediation. It is a project to which we have gradually expanded, thanks to other spaces placed at our disposal: a bourgeois house installed right next door in this street, then we had a 200m2 hangar, and finally this place which has just undergone three years of renovation and expansion. We have also opened a production site in Liffré, 15km from Rennes, the HubHug, which houses a studio for artists and a sculpture park.
Mowwgli: Nice evolution, and today?
A.L.: Today, I think we have remained faithful to the initial project. Working with artists in the production of works and exhibitions remains really central, and the programming of exhibitions which I consider as a plastic and theoretical research, which is nourished progressively. From some monographic exhibitions emerge themes that give rise to group exhibitions and group exhibitions I can focus on the work of an artist to whom we propose a monographic exhibition. This is the work that takes place in the exhibition space of Rennes, where we propose exhibitions about every 3 months. We also regularly present works in the public space.
Our activity has been enriched with new axes, we organize artist residencies, notably at the HubHug in Liffré, and we are developing them on the territory with municipalities or associations that we accompany in this process. For example, we have set up a residence in Louvigné-du-Désert, north-east of Rennes, which allows artists to work with granite. We thus have a wider reach than in mainland France and are working with one of the other structures in France on co-production partnerships.
Around these workshops, we have created a sculpture park, the HubHug Sculpture Project, which we have been developing since 2016. We have set up a device that we call the Rack, like a rack to store materials to the size of a public space, on which we present works.
We also commission works, and we have created professional training for artists and an international residency for curators, GENERATOR.
Mowwgli: How do you work?
A.L. : We are an association me 1901, we have part of public funding from the city of Rennes, the department, Ille-et-Vilaine, the Brittany region, Drac Bretagne, the city of Liffré and private partners like Art Norac or Avoxa: financial patrons, skills and equipment. It’s mixed funding.
In human terms, we are a team of 4 people. In terms of space we now have 180m2 of exhibition space right here in Rennes, the 200m2 workshops in Liffré with the tools and materials necessary for production. In the last three years without a specific venue, despite a dense activity of production and presentation of works in the public space and in the framework of partnerships with exhibition venues at local, regional and national level, we realized that it was extremely important for us to have a base.
Mowwgli: How do you develop synergies with the regional fabric?
A.L.: At the regional level we work regularly with many structures. We are part of the contemporary art networks in Brittany and the Pôle de ressources pour l’éducation artistique et culturelle. Everything is possible, we collaborate on different types of projects; group exhibitions in different places, co-productions, cross residences….
We are of course participating in the next Biennale d’art contemporain – the workshops in Rennes at the end of the year curated by Céline Kopp and Etienne Bernard. Within the framework of this biennale we generally present, in agreement with the curators, a monographic exhibition. Within the framework of these events there are often many group exhibition projects, so the fact of dedicating oneself to a single artist allows to change the rhythm and to deploy one’s work more widely. Our choice for the next biennial is in progress.
At the departmental level, we have another area of work which is the citizen commission, which is done in particular within the framework of the New Sponsors of the Fondation de France action, of which we are partners as producer delegate. We work with a Tours structure called Eternal Network. This program allows groups of people – associations, companies, communities, individuals – who wish to order a work of art from an artist to be accompanied in this process. It is a citizen commitment which does not have the same temporality and which is very different from an exhibition work for example. An order requires a long process of about 3 years, and it is exciting.
Mowwgli: What is GENERATOR?
A.L.: We have kept this desire to accompany young artists at the beginning of their careers, and we very quickly realised the need for support for artists when they leave art schools. It takes artists an average of 10 years to make a living from their work. We wanted to accelerate this process and reduce this time so that they could acquire and master tools more quickly. We have therefore set up a professional training course with the Ecole Européenne Supérieure d’Arts de Bretagne and the Brittany region.
It is a 7-month training for 4 artists that we accompany in the development of their work: the production of works, knowledge of the art system, administrative, legal, accounting and networking aspects.
We put them in contact with different contemporary art professions: directors of institutions, journalists, curators, critics, gallery owners… In addition to these meetings, there are four residencies for curators who come from different countries in Europe and stay in Brittany for one month to meet the artists of the GENERATOR programme. Each writes an article about an artist’s work and meets professional actors and artists living in the region. It is a unique training that includes fees, a production grant, a workshop and tools, we are currently launching the 5th edition, the call for applications is open for next year.
Mowwgli: Current or future projects?
A.L.: We are currently presenting and until April 28, 2018 Whisper to the Landscape by We Are The Painters, an artist duo composed of Nicolas Beaumelle and Aurélien Porte who paint in nature, in oversized canvas formats, in volume with chairs as support, on characters activated in the context of performance… We are preparing Marielle Chabal‘s next exhibition, whose sculpture and installation work is born from the fictions she writes. This will be inaugurated in May.
We are also working on an important project for the month of June with the artist Benoît-Marie Moriceau at Champs Libres, an architecture created by Christian de Portzamparc in Rennes, which brings together the Museum of Brittany, the media library and the science space. Benoît-Marie Moriceau will present an exhibition in the space that 400m2 has been dedicated to him and realize an intervention in the public space, on which the media library will allow a privileged panoramic point of view..
48, avenue du Sergent Maginot35000
Rennes+33 (0)2 90 09 64 11w
Wednesday to Saturday from 14h to 19het
by appointment Tuesday to Friday from 9h to 12h30
Exhibition: Whisper to the Landscape
We Are The Painters
11.02.18 – 28.04.18
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