The Festival international d’art de Toulouse — the new concept of the Printemps de Septembre — is continuing its metamorphosis. The Festival’s international programming committee*, chaired for the second year running by Christy MacLear, is keen to give pride of place to rare artists and daring projects, and thus invites us to discover artists and unusual projects in places emblematic of Toulouse’s heritage: the Swiss painter Franz Gertsch, an artist who cannot be pigeonholed, but who is a myth in his own land, has agreed to present for the first time in France a very large selection of works which have staked out his career, the large pictures of his life. The American artist Susan Hiller, a quintessential figure of Conceptual art, offers us a set of four large installations. These two artists are sharing the Musée les Abattoirs, while the painter Thomas Huber is appropriating the Espace Edf Bazacle which, for the duration of the festival, will become both the subject and place of presentation of his extraordinary paintings. Just as, last year, we appreciated the outstanding vitality of the father’s bequeathal to his daughters in the Smith family’s exhibition, so another form of connection is revealed to us this year between the master, Georges Jeanclos, and his pupil, the young sculptress Elsa Sahal. These two expert ceramicists are occupying the premises of the Hôtel-Dieu. The Château d’Eau is being filled with the sculptures of Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, which will be activated throughout the show. The Dutch artist Manon de Boer has elected to present at Les Jacobins her video work in the form of a meticulous and novel circuit.
Last year we announced Jorge Pardo’s project... It is being produced in 2014. The Musée des Augustins, the City of Toulouse, the Festival, the Drac and the Region Midi-Pyrénées and ten business patrons of Toulouse have joined forces to achieve the feat of producing the artist’s work which reveals the unique collection of Romanesque capitals held in the museum by way of an ambitious and very imposing set which will enable the people of Toulouse to discover or rediscover this veritable City treasure, along with one of the greatest contemporary artists of his generation.
Around this programme visitors will find A comme Anaconda, a project which encompasses the art centres of Greater Toulouse and the region which have been keen to work with us: BBB centre d’art, Lieu-Commun, Croix-Baragnon, the Pavillon Blanc – Centre d’art de Colomiers and the Chapelle Saint-Jacques at Saint-Gaudens will be respectively playing host, based on the same monographic principle as the exhibitions developed around the river Garonne, to Sven’t Jolle, Jean Denant, Mykola Malyshko and Lada Nakonechna, Rémi Groussin and Michael Beutler.
The Festival salutes the opening of the brand new Musée Soulages in Rodez, and the novel Cuisine project at Négrepelisse and is offering to take its visitors by bus for these discovery outings.
So that Toulouse will throb to the rhythm of the Festival, and to link up with the Festival’s living and joyous dimension, the young curators Mehdi Brit and Blanche de Lestrange, in collaboration with the Institut supérieur des arts de Toulouse and the Siestes Électroniques, are presenting a series of performances and concerts in the Nocturnes, under the title « L’Éveil du Printemps ». And to make the Festival’s Nocturnes sparkle, we have called upon Yann Kersalé to connect the places on the circuit with a special light project, « Re-flé-chi », which will operate day and night.
Around the magazine A ( ) C I, edited by Clément Dirié, a talk programme is being held at Les Abattoirs around the guest artists present in Toulouse, to have exchanges with the public during the Festival’s first weekend. A homage to Günther Förg, a great German painter who died too young, will be given by his students in the form of posters and specific interventions.
The mediation programmes organized by the Centre Photographique in Lectoure add to the free-admission principle of the Festival an excellent reason for pushing open the doors of museums and art centres on the circuit: guided visits, fun-and-games circuits, practical workshops and meetings with artists are all keys for uninhibitedly understanding the most exacting propositions.
The City of Toulouse and its public and private partners are enabling the Festival to endure and grow. This is a gift for all of us… we offer them our heartfelt thanks.
So we’ll see you on 23 May at a special Archie Shepp concert at Les Abattoirs, which will open on a high note what we want to be nothing less than an art party — and a party for artists, too!
Marie-Thérèse Perrin President-founder
Jean-Marc Bustamante Director
**Penelope Curtis (Tate Britain, Londres), Isabelle Gaudefroy (Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris), Christy MacLear (Président of the comitty 2014, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York), Olivier Michelon (Les Abattoirs – Frac Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse), Eckhard Schneider (PinchukArtCentre, Kiev), Philippe Vergne (MOCA, Los Angeles)