Views on contemporary art curating

Opportunity: Curatorial Research and Project Grants

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, February 16. 2008
Etant donn�s: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art
Application deadline: March 31st, 2008

Etant donn�s: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art offers financial support in the form of grants to American nonprofit institutions organizing exhibitions, installations, artist residencies, publications, or other projects by living French artists or to French nonprofit institutions presenting the same types of projects involving American artists. Qualifying projects may be in the fields of visual arts, architecture and design. The Fund, established in 1994 with the French Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), with support from the Florence Gould Foundation, has distributed nearly 2 million dollars to support more than 200 projects at major French and American institutions.

Since 2005, Etant Donn�s also offers Curatorial Research Grants supporting the professional development of American curators by offering them extended stays of up to three months in France for research projects in the field of contemporary art. The grants are intended to facilitate the discovery of new talents, reinforce interest in established contemporary artists, and encourage the exploration of France's cultural resources. Eligible projects may include research for an exhibition or publication, travel to visit specific sites and collections, an intensive period of reading or writing or other projects that support professional development. The grants are reserved for curators and scholars, who must be U.S. citizens or legal residents of the United States for at least five years who have a minimum of three years of research or professional experience in the field and are currently employed by or have a specific project in collaboration with a nonprofit art space.

Grants are awarded through an open competition administered by the Etant donn�s Fund. Applications are reviewed by the Etant donn�s Artistic Committee, composed of prominent curators, art critics and arts administrators. Completed applications must be received on or before March 31st of each year, for projects beginning after June 1st. Incomplete or late applications cannot be accepted for consideration.

Complete guidelines and application forms are available at the FACE website.
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I'll see your Wi-Fi, and raise you a magazine

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, November 3. 2006 • Category: News
While the Pompidou tries to entice a younger generation by offering wireless internet, the hip and flashy (and, based on the rumblings of folk I know in Paris - sometimes hated) Palais de Tokyo has turned to old media to further its reach to audiences.

"France has changed, the world has changed, and we have to adapt,'' says Bruno Racine, the Pomipdou Center's 54-year-old president, in his red-walled office near the museum. "The Pompidou Center needs to renew itself, live up to the dual challenge of expanding its domestic audience and becoming a global institution.''

There is an excellent article here, that chronicles the recent troubles and triumphs of the Pompidou. The tale inevitably ends on the note of the fiscal viability of the Pompidou, with Racine saying:

"Subsidies are going to plateau,'' he says. "Clearly, we have to diversify our resources by building up visitor numbers, but also forming closer links with companies and collectors.''

Zipping on over to (or 13 Avenue de Président Wilson, whichever is more convenient), we see that the latest hot news item is their new magazine - yes, printed on dead trees, not on a blog or wiki! - that costs 5-7 Euros (depending on where you live) or 4.50 GBP.

Every quarter, PALAIS / outlines the expanded artistic universe of the new program and invites many contributions from diverse fields: it features images of the exhibitions presented at the Palais de Tokyo, portfolios as well as texts by art critics or philosophers, writers, footballers, artists, etc. and a "carte blanche" given to another magazine.

Throughout PALAIS / is the notion of elasticity: it pulls art toward reality and reality toward art. Are there any potential points of rupture? Where are the intersections, those unlikely places where yodeling and quantum physics meet?

It is simply an interesting study in contrasts. I would actually like to see a mash-up of these approaches - presenting the intersections where quantum physics and yodeling meet, but through a podcast, Wi-Fi portal page, or file I download from Bit Torrent. I'll be happy to see what the Pomipdou makes of dabbling in giving away Wi-Fi and other possible digital efforts, as well as what Palais de Tokyo does with the "old media" - for now.
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