Mr President of the Centre Pompidou, dear Alain Seban,Mr Director of the National Museum of Modern Art, dear AlfredPacquement,Mr President of the Association for the International Dissemination of French Art (ADIAF), dear Gilles Fuchs,Madam Vice-PresidentPresident of ADIAF, dear Florence Guerlain,Members of the Marcel Duchamp Prize Jury,Dear Cyprien Gaillard, Dear Friends,
Renewing the world - this is the deepest instinct in desire
the collector experiences acquiring new objects,” wrote
Walter Benjamin in 1931.
The 300 or so collectors who are members of the
international diffusion of French art (ADIAF), created in 1994 - already
almost twenty years – have indeed helped to renew a world,
the French art scene, allowing more than fifty
artists to benefit from its support - let us quote Thomas
Hirschhorn, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Mathieu Mercier, Pierre
Ardouvin, Valérie Belin, Didier Marcel, Xavier Veilhan…
Thanks to ADIAF, the general public’s view of contemporary art
has also been renewed. Gilles Fuchs, your association
the works of these artists in France and abroad. We
has thus seen this year a great retrospective of the ten years of the award
Marcel Duchamp at the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain in Strasbourg
and the Regional Fund for Contemporary Art of Alsace; but also in Tokyo, where
the Fukushima disaster did not prevent your organizing committee
to return, a few days later, to open the exhibition against and against
in a spirit of solidarity with our Japanese friends who honour the
Finally, ADIAF renews our view of the world through artists
that it celebrates: yesterday the digitized world of Claude Closky, the world
collapsed by Tatiana Trouvé, the «retrofuturistic» world of Laurent Grasso,
and today that Cyprien Gaillard presents in the very beautiful
exhibition that he offers us in space 315.
The purpose of the Marcel Duchamp Prize is to distinguish a French artist,
representative of his generation. This young award, created there is only one
ten years, is already considered one of the most
prestigious awards in the world of contemporary art, equal to the
The Marcel Duchamp Award is not just a financial support to
the winning artist. It is an award that also brings to the artist who receives it a
great visibility, first at FIAC, where we will soon discover the
works of the four nominees of the year 2011, then here at the National Centre
Georges Pompidou, for three months. The year
next, the Lille Métropole Museum of Contemporary Art will host
also the selected artists.
This partnership between public institutions and private collectors
Artists' Service inspires my policy towards contemporary art.
In a few days, I will announce new measures and
from interviews on the plastic arts, which were
conducted year-round with professionals. They aim to expand the
benefits of such partnerships to other public institutions and to
other private actors, in this case galleries.
These partnerships contribute to the development and dynamism of
in an exemplary way. Here, I do not forget that
the Centre Pompidou also welcomes the winner of the Foundation’s prize
Ricard, and that it benefits from the support of another association
prestigious collectors: the support of friends of the National Museum
of modern art. And in saying this, I want to greet its president
for so many years, at the time of his departure: - François Trêves,
you have carried out a job during your many mandates
remarkable. We are all infinitely grateful. It is
Jacques Boissonas, who will now preside over the
for this beautiful association. I know that you will also
with care and determination.
Finally, I do not forget that this exhibition would not have been
possible without the support of ADIAF patrons, the support of Artcurial, and
the involvement of the gallery owners of Cyprien Gaillard, Frédéric Bugada and Claudia
Cargnel. I congratulate them as well.
Walter Benjamin wrote again that «all passion confines to chaos»
but that the collector’s passion, as far as it is concerned, is confined to
chaos of memories”. This chaos of memories, I think, is appropriate to
the work of Cyprien Gaillard whose artistic approach itself
It is also, at the bottom, a gigantic collection.
Dear Cyprien Gaillard, you are, on all continents and for all
the archaeologist of all destruction. From the cantonal school
from which you graduated only six years ago,
to the Pompidou Centre and the New York Museum of Modern Art, in
through the well-named exhibition Younger than Jesus, or the
city of Berlin where the D.A.A.D welcomed you in residence, you have
made a meteoric trajectory.
You willingly say of yourself that you are an artist
outdoor». Bummer in the most preserved sites of humanity
in Mexico as on the bunkers of the Dutch beaches, in the
British HLM cities or the vacant lots of Moscow, you
photograph and take stock of the architectural traces of the
past and future. Hence your taste for SEO
always demanding, consistent and unexpected, photographic and video
of your geographical analogies, showcase of 900 Polaroids that are part of
exhibition, through which the spirit of the
“Caprices” of Piranese.
You say that destruction is only the starting point of your works,
never the end. One of the photographs of the Grande Allée du Château
Oiron shows the endless path of honour of this castle of the
Renaissance, covered with tons of rubble from destruction
a tower in Issy-les-Moulineaux. I also remember watching
at the Palazzo Grassi, the film that you directed in
from the destruction of the towers of Glasgow, which became for the occasion,
as you say so well, “one-night stands”. You have, in
your work, beautifully pulled on the thread stretched by a sentence of
Diderot: «you have to ruin a palace to make it an object of interest».
Jean-Christophe Bailly wrote in one of his reviews that art
can be described as a long descent into a landscape
that we would eventually get out of”. That’s also why you’re our
and the worthy recipient of this prestigious award, which I call
Gilles Fuchs to put you back with me now.