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Corporate residencies, towards a "productive" patronage model

Art & Business | The PACT (e) program, initiated and designed in 2018 by Sandrina Martins, director of the Carreau du Temple, renews the practice of artist residencies hosted by businesses. In 2019, it translated into the first dedicated biennale, formalized an active patronage focused on the valorization of internal skills and opened a new channel for the production of artworks.

Emmanuel Régent, Le naufrage de l’Espérance (La mer de glace), détail, 2019 © Tadzio – Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
Emmanuel Régent, Le naufrage de l’Espérance (La mer de glace), détail, 2019
© Tadzio – Fondation d’entreprise Hermès

Points of reference

In the long history of corporate patronage, Renault anticipated the idea of artistic residencies in 1967 under the leadership of Claude-Louis Renard. The Director of staff relations created the Research-Art-Industry program with the objective of connecting artists with the company’s workers and engineers. Until 1975, under the chairmanship of Pierre Dreyfus, Renault built its contemporary art collection. The company focused on the internal social link created with artists through an active collaboration between both, differentiating itself from the American model based on specific commissions. From this experience came the emblematic works by Arman, Soto, Dubuffet, Le Parc... Vassarely drew the Renault logo in 1975.

Composition 1974, 250 X 400 cm - Peinture glycérophtalique sur bois, La collection d'art Renault © Photographie Poncet, Georges / ADAGP
Composition 1974, 250 X 400 cm - Peinture glycérophtalique sur bois, La collection d'art Renault
© Photographie Poncet, Georges / ADAGP

In the 2000’s, the fields in which art intervened within companies were broadened, mainly through communication, in order to disseminate the vision and values ​​of a brand : brand strategy, product creation and marketing, patronage. The sectors concern mainly the world of luxury and fashion, banks, spirits, distribution (department stores, shopping centers) ; internal communication not being considered a primary objective.

Participatory patronage

In line with Renault’s Research-Art-Industry division, the PACT (e) program offers an inclusive experience that is relevant to the life of the company. Before being headed by the Carreau du Temple, its director Sandrina Martins initiated this practice within the framework of Marseille European Capital of Culture with the Euromediterranean Workshops; where companies took over the production of works by artists in residency... and opened themselves to a new look at artists and contemporary creation.

Alexandre Périgot, La Maison du Fada, 2013, Vue d’exposition, Biennale PACT(e), 2019 Paris © Photographie : Thomas Cecchelani © Le Carreau du Temple
Alexandre Périgot, La Maison du Fada, 2013, Vue d’exposition, Biennale PACT(e), 2019 Paris
© Photographie : Thomas Cecchelani © Le Carreau du Temple

Today, the program establishes a tripartite partnership between the company and the artist under the guidance of the Carreau du Temple, which accompanies the project on the ground and throughout its implementation. The funding is shared between the Carreau du Temple, who covers 30%, and by the company by 70%. All types of companies can join, from the SME to the large business groups.

A biennale, a field of observation

The first biennale of the company residency was held in 2019. It showed the result of the artist-company tandem since 2008, with the theme of human adventure « at work » as a factor of social and entrepreneurial innovation. A journey of nineteen works produced by companies, seven from residencies led by the Carreau du Temple between 2018 and 2019, and twelve from other initiatives. The biennale revealed a multiplicity of experimental approaches by companies as diverse as the CPME Paris Ile-de-France (Florent Audoye), the chocolatier Jacques Genin (Taysir Batniji), Eau de Paris (Niel Beloufa), Eurogroup Consulting (Igor Antic), Briqueterie de Nagen (Nicolas Daubanes), La compagnie Française du Bouton (Sara Favriau) or the Cristallerie Saint Louis (Emmanuel Régent)...

The development of this practice of residencies within businesses stands out from the corporate commissions’ system, and could constitute a new source of production of works for artists, as part of an organic market, that is not manipulated by the constraints related to communication objectives. To be continued.

Sara Favriau, Spectres etc., 2018 - plâtre - dimensions variables © Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie Maubert © CNEAI
Sara Favriau, Spectres etc., 2018 - plâtre - dimensions variables
© Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie Maubert © CNEAI

Nina Rodrigues-Ely
Publié le 22/07/2019
Copyright © Observatoire de l'art contemporain - Tous droits réservés
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Version française

Emmanuel Régent, Le naufrage de l’Espérance (La mer de glace), détail, 2019 © Tadzio – Fondation d’entreprise Hermès

Emmanuel Régent, Le naufrage de l’Espérance (La mer de glace), détail, 2019
© Tadzio – Fondation d’entreprise Hermès

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