Ladies and gentlemen,
My dear friends,
From the very great André Bloc, we often know his house in Meudon, which was also his studio, and which was one of those breaks in the history of architecture of the 1950s. We also know how he helped Claude Parent and other young architects to whom he paved the way. And we sometimes know his sculptures-habitacles, which he designed late, after an intense work of research, and which he made emerge from the earth in his garden. They have an unparalleled poetic power, they make us suddenly enter a crazy dreamlike universe, where the most intense vitality springs from stone or brick.
André Bloc was a great architect. He was a great sculptor. He was a great magazine director. And throughout his life, he sought "the synthesis, between architecture and sculpture, in a free form," because, he said, "we believe in the unity of creation, whether it be urban planning, architecture, interior equipment or pure art." What André Bloc dreamed of was at the bottom “of a world where the line between art and life would no longer be.”
It is in a way that dream that we are striving to pursue together today, by bringing art into life, into the most everyday place possible, that place where we live, that place where we work, that place where we pass through. This is the ambition of "1 building, 1 work".
Art on every street corner, as soon as a building comes out of the ground. Art on doors and windows.
Art in every building, so that all those who live in it look differently at this place which is yet so familiar to them.
The art everywhere, so that every inhabitant feels happy and proud of this daily life of which he suddenly has the feeling that he is transfigured by the power of the work he receives.
Art everywhere, so that every citizen of this country is convinced that art is an integral part of his existence, individual or collective, that he nourishes it, that he gives it meaning and depth.
Art everywhere, because it is not only in a museum, not only in a palace, not only in the salon of a patron or a sponsor, because art cannot be inaccessible. If it is an integral part of the life of each and of the collective life, how indeed to leave it inaccessible?
Art everywhere, because the act of building has something to do with the act of creating, and they sometimes mix together to the point of being confused.
That’s what “1 building, 1 work of art” is made of.
That is the spirit in which you and I, my department and your businesses are engaged in this program. Tomorrow, together with you, we will ensure that a thousand works flourish each year in every building you build.
Thank you. Thanks to Accor, Ardian, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Bouygues Bâtiment Île-de-France, Bpd Marignan, Compagnie de Phalsbourg, Eiffage Immobilier, Emerige, Gecina, Hines France, Ogic, Pitch Promotion and Vinci immobilier. You are the first companies to sign this charter with us today. Others, I am sure, and I hope, will one day join you. The support of the Federation of Real Estate Developers, of which we just heard from the president, Alexandra François-Cuxac, is promising.
Without the mobilization of all those who work at the service of contemporary art, without the mobilization of artists themselves, this ambition could not have succeeded.
May Fabrice Hyber, in his own name and on behalf of the artists, Jean de Loisy, for the Palais de Tokyo, and Marion Papillon, on behalf of the Comité professionnel des galeries d'art – I also greet the presence of its President Georges-Philippe Vallois - join the strategic and artistic committee of this operation is the clear sign of the expectation it raises and the importance it takes in the eyes of all.
For «1 building, 1 work» the strategic and artistic committee will deliver not only a label, but also three prizes, a Grand Prix, a prize of emergence and a prize of the public. I propose that they be presented in early 2017 at the Palais de Tokyo on the occasion of the exhibition dedicated to the operation, as Jean de Loisy announced earlier. That is how it will be known and recognized in the eyes of all. I also announce that the trophy will be made by the teams of the ceramic city of Sèvres.
As for my ministry, it will of course be at your side, because it is the house of artists and creation: you will be able to count on the Directorate general of artistic creation, which has set up a dedicated team, and on each regional directorate, through the plastic arts advisors.
No doubt never will the meaning of this act, which involves us jointly, appear so clearly.
It is indeed in favour of contemporary art that you are committed.
This art that I have for mission to support and to make discover.
This art whose public success is not denied. It is present in all territories, through art centres, places of production and dissemination, and FRAC, whose collections will soon be declared inalienable, by the law I wear.
But this art, also pursued by the merchants of fear, who despise it in order to better denounce its elitism, seeks to hinder it and sometimes to destroy it, in the name of a narrow and petrified conception of our history and our culture.
On Sunday, those extremes lost. Today, we offer them the best possible response: the joint mobilization of public power and civil society at the service of contemporary creation, for the benefit of all.
Let me tell you my joy and pride.
Let me also tell you that the fight is not over. It needs the mobilization of all. And you can count on me, on my determination, to lead him to your side. I know too much about what art brings to life to let obscurantism gain ground. Art, I will continue to fight to showcase and protect. That is why I intend to make creative freedom law. That is why I am committed to preserving and advancing the means that the Nation intends for it.
It is towards contemporary creation and especially towards young creation that you are committed. I made it, as you know, one of my priorities, by devoting it to the Assizes last Spring. Our goal is to showcase emerging talent, to encourage the renewal and diversity of creation at the same time. The first measures that have emerged are already beginning to see the light of day: artist residencies, nurseries and cultural incubators within art schools, revision of the training of students. This is also where we will fight for creation.
Finally, you are committed to the whole of society. In a France marked for ever by the dramas of this year that is drawing to a close, in a France whose cultural life has been struck by the most terrible fanaticism, we need more than ever the arts and artists.
Because they bring with them the power of imagination, the questioning of the present, the invention of possible futures, the exploration of human emotions.
Because they embody, with the immense generosity that characterizes artists, this freedom that we cherish above all else.
For they participate, with their works, in the national conversation.
And this national conversation, we have a collective responsibility to make it rich, intense, diverse, open. For this is how we form a nation.