Dear Friends,

«The work of art, said Marcel Duchamp, is a rendezvous». Here we are
thus gathered once again on the occasion of the FIAC and the events
associated with it. I could make a speech of convenience. I do not
will not because this is a date I love and appreciate
particularly. I won’t do that either because I appreciate what your
expectations, and I want to tell you how attached I am to this world of
the art” to which you belong. In a context of globalization, it
it seems that we will not be able to help promote our artists,
especially abroad, if work is not promoted at the same time
of all the actors who contribute to their vitality in France. There is no
strong and visible artists without a strong and visible world of art itself:
with and for artists, it includes museums, art centers, funds
acquisition, foundations, art schools, residences, of course, but
also publishers of art books and art magazines, curators
exhibitions, art critics, collectors, organizers
events like these, patrons, friends of museums, and you,
gallery owners. It is all of you who form this complex universe, this
“ecosystem”, who are the Department’s natural interlocutors. You
I am very pleased to welcome you here.
I know this past year has been a difficult one for many. The
It is still fragile, and we must be cautious.
For me, this year was a year of work that I wanted to devote to
founding actions. My Ministry is in good working order,
as evidenced by the 2011 budget granted to me by the President of the
Republic, in sharp increase for the plastic arts; but also the
successful reorganization of the Directorate General for Artistic Creation,
now led by Georges-François Hirsch; the demanding reform and
ambitious art schools; and the preservation of culture on the occasion of
the reform of the general jurisdiction clause. This work done we
support the dynamics of the institutions and the
developing opportunities for artists: this is among my
I am told that the year that is opening looks better: I hope so. I
know the high quality of this fair led by Jennifer Flay, alone
now in charge, since Martin Béthenod’s departure for the
Palazzo Grassi. The expansion of many French galleries,
galleries such as Emmanuel Perrotin, Loevenbruck, Chantal Crousel, or
Eric Dupont, the creation of new galleries, including
in the north and east of Paris, the arrival of foreign galleries, like Larry
Gagosian and Tornabuoni, the multiplication of quality fairs
FIAC, but also the presence of our galleries and artists in
the foreigner, like Tatiana Trouvé or Adel Abdessemed
Frieze, are a sign of vitality of which I am delighted, as is the
number of events and events produced by public actors
and private actors since the fall.
Among the establishments, Versailles, once again, knew how to
and has attracted many international collectors to Paris.
I welcome the exhibition of Adam McEwen which will soon open at the Palais de
Tokyo, as well as the proposal of Sophie Calle that we can see through the
the Arman and Orozco exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou; the
«counterpoint» of the Russian artists at the Louvre; but also the others
initiatives in Paris, Ile-de-France and the regions that are too numerous
to be cited: the very beautiful inaugural exhibition of the Centre Pompidou-
Metz whose success does not go away; the Mac/Val exhibition celebrating
its five years; the exhibition The Silk Road at the Tri Postal in Lille or
the exhibition Jean-Michel Basquiat… And I don’t forget, in this
initiatives that closely link institutions
and private operators. I would like to salute Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille,
the winners of the Ricard Prize, and also Saadane Afif, winner of the Marcel Prize
Duchamp, exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou. These awards illustrate the
virtuous partnerships between collectors, entrepreneurs and
institutions, to the benefit of contemporary French artists.
Finally, this overview would be incomplete if I did not mention the initiatives
like the Spring of September in Toulouse, which celebrates its
20 years, The Pommery experience in Reims, which celebrates its ten years, the House
Red, which has, in a short time, permanently established itself in our
landscape or the brand new SAM and Rosenblum foundations.
All this reflects a vitality and effervescence which, in my view, places the
France in a very favorable situation in the world of art.
But I am aware that there is still much to be done, while the
Anglo-Saxon world, and tomorrow China, Latin America and India, between
become our “new frontiers”. So, I wanted to launch a
This morning, in the Ministry, the Observatory
of the art market. I am aware of the profound changes in the
world of art in general, and in the art market in particular. A
the time of globalization, the art gallery, cultural enterprise, tends
often to get closer to an engineering or even a cultural industry.
A gallery owner, today, is increasingly required to accompany his
artists by producing his works. These are increasingly
more and more complex, sometimes more and more
important, and most often destined to travel far beyond our
borders. Making this observation implies changing our approach to these
and our visual arts policy.
In my opinion, three projects must be continued, in consultation with the
Professional Committee of Art Galleries that I wished to receive before the
FIAC and that I will see regularly.
First of all, a legal project. I consider that my role consists of
together with the other departments concerned, to remedy the
competitive disadvantages suffered by Paris and its players.
It is in this spirit that I wrote to Michel Barnier, European Commissioner
on this subject, so that the assessment of the application of the directive
“resale right” be established. We were successful: the
preparation of this report will be initiated. It must be an opportunity to engage
a debate on the economic and social impact of the resale right. This is about
take into account both the protection of the interests of artists,
the objective of Franco-British harmonization, but also the requirement of
competitiveness of European art markets.
A financial project next. It is clear that galleries need
new tools to support their artists. I would like to point out that
that the Institute for the Financing of Cinema and Cultural Industries,
IFCIC, already allows galleries that are engaged in projects of
important development of obtaining loan guarantees up to
70%. I want to develop this action, including extending it to
repayable cash advances. In this regard, I welcome the
rapprochement between the Pierre Bergé/Yves Saint Laurent Foundation
and IFCIC to study the creation of a €1 million fund for
art galleries engaged in the promotion of performing artists
abroad. Moreover, I do not forget, in this financial aspect,
measures expected to support the private collection. In this area,
I want, in consultation with the Ministry of Economy, to develop in
the French corporate collections for which there are
I think there is still considerable scope for development.
A political project finally. The State is doing a lot. We must not tire of
but it is also said that he can do better. I want to commend him in that regard.
Richard Lagrange, who is committed to a work of
modernization of the acquisition commissions of the National Art Fund
the FNAC - of which I recall that it has operated 2.9 million euros
purchases in 2009, 90% of which were made in galleries. I also want you
that the Direction générale de la Création artistique is currently writing,
at the initiative of Jean-Pierre Simon, a circular on the order
which intends to define the terms of a renovated contract involving
galleries. I also hope that the institutions under
The Ministry continues to take care to inform galleries
projects. I want to help the National Arts Centre
plastics, which is an essential relay of our action towards this
“art ecosystem” that I described, to do more in supporting
Finally, I am aware of the fact that we must do better by
management of artist residencies in Paris, where rents are, as we
knows, too expensive, and I also, in partnership with the French Institute,
increase the number of residencies of French artists abroad, and this may be
in cities other than European or Anglo-Saxon cities:
Shanghai, Bombay, Johannebsurg, Brasilia, which are the other big
cities of today and tomorrow.
I know, finally, that this meeting is traditionally
the occasion to mention the projects carried by my Ministry in the years
future. They are important, as part of this great ambition to
The visual arts I wear with you.
In May 2011, you will find, as you know, Christian Boltanski
at the French Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, as well as Anish Kapoor who
designed a spectacular installation in the framework of Monumenta. Little
previously, the work of the Palais de Tokyo piloted by architects
Lacaton and Vassal will have begun, thanks to an investment by my
Ministry of nearly 15 million euros. The Tokyo Palace is, as
as you know, a priority of my policy towards the plastic arts,
it is true that it will allow France, with its future 20.000m², to
compete with the largest international art centers, and thus
continue to welcome the best of contemporary art in France while
promoting our artists in the world. The Palais de
Tokyo will open in March 2012 and its opening will be under the sign
artists of the Francophonie, since this will be the theme of the new
that the Palais de Tokyo will host. Its general commissariat
will be entrusted to Okwui Enwezor, on the proposal of Nicolas Bourriaud, in
association with the three French commissioners proposed by Olivier
Kaeppelin and Marc-Olivier Wahler. This triennial of the Palais de Tokyo will be
in a way the new formula of the Force of Art that stood at the
Grand Palace until now. The new Grand Public Establishment
In 2012, the Palais will welcome Daniel Buren for a new
edition of Monumenta. Finally, the next two years will also be
important for cultural decentralization and plastic arts in
region. In 2012, FRAC will be thirty years old, and we will celebrate this
anniversary as it should be. Especially as 6 new buildings housing
FRAC will have been created at the initiative of the Regional Councils, which
are increasingly committed to contemporary art. This
are these FRAC and art centres in the regions that have, for thirty years,
maintained and renewed a true «desire for art» in France, without which
our brilliant new generation of French artists might not
not the same. Finally, this year will be a decisive year in
school arts education, since the great plan we have
in partnership with the Ministry of Education
achievement. After teaching the history of the arts in primary,
and then in college, this teaching becomes compulsory from
back in 2010 in high school. And as we know, in art,
It all starts at school.
In short, we have work to do, but we will also have a lot of fun
all together.