Dear Georges Kepenekian, Deputy Mayor

Mr Prefect, dear Jean-François Carenco

Dear Jean-François Marguerin, Regional Director of Cultural Affairs

Mr President of CIPAC, dear Emmanuel Latreille 

Dear Emmanuel Tibloux, Director of the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon, who is welcoming us all today 

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to come to Lyon to share with you this important moment, this sixth congress of CIPAC. This time of exchange and work between visual arts professionals is valuable. In your diverse and varied professions, you all have at least one thing in common: you put your energy, your skills and your enthusiasm at the service of artists. You explore the necessities of art.

That is why I have come to tell you about my personal attachment and the attachment of the Ministry of Culture and Communication to the missions that are yours.

     . Solidarity and dialogue;

CIPAC is an inter-professional conference, although I know that sometimes your debates can be lively. And that’s fine. Together, you have produced a white paper. This white paper will be our thread. It is on this basis, very rich, that I hope that your dialogue with the departments of the department will be based. I have just mentioned this with your presidents of professional associations.

I deeply believe that CIPAC is first and foremost the place for the expression and manifestation of interprofessional solidarity. These solidarities are based on an interdependence of all actors. And it is always on the basis of interprofessional solidarity that public cultural policies are built and built.

This solidarity that you highlight in your congress does not lead to oppose each other, public actors to private actors, art centers to FRAC and FRAC to art libraries. Higher art schools, galleries, all actors have their place and a vital role to play so that artists can create diverse works and so that these works meet the public.

Many of the actions we are taking together, which I fully support, are aimed at highlighting and strengthening this solidarity. I’ll come back to that.

Throughout 2013, and even since July 2012, we have celebrated together the thirty years of FRAC. I want to point out that this anniversary is also the anniversary of art centres. With this anniversary, it is artists and all those who work every day to support artists and bring their work closer to all the audiences we celebrate.

 What has happened in the last 30 years gives us cause for optimism. Never before has the landscape of contemporary creation been so dynamic and lively. Never have audiences been so popular. Never have the elected representatives, in all the territories, been so convinced of the projects you propose to them, in the places and in the public space.                                                                                                                                           

 I wish to accompany this development and this structuring and thus emphasize the encounter of all with art and with creation. The policy I lead at the Ministry of Culture and Communication is a policy attentive to the actors. It is not a policy of “beating”, a policy that focuses on communication. On the contrary, I want to strengthen the networks, strengthen the existing where it is still fragile and accompany you in the great changes of this time, at the heart of a difficult period, where public money is scarce, where new forms emerge without erasing the forms that precede them. 

This is also the reason why my priorities do not go to the creation of new places, nor to the multiplication of great Parisian manifestations. I don’t want to generate additional supply, but I want to further strengthen our ability to make people want what’s out there. I don’t want to create new places, I want to work better with existing ones, and I want to renovate what needs to be renovated. Nothing would be worse than inaction and conservatism in these difficult times. It is because of these difficult times that we must move forward.

We must modernize existing tools and, where necessary, put in place new tools to support professionals.

Admittedly, in this adventure, the state is not the only public actor, far from it. He is also not, or very rarely, the primary funder of most places and projects. However, with its partners, it has an essential role to play. 

     . The role of the State

The role of the state in this country, even before any question of funding, is to make sure that we make it possible by bringing appropriate legislation and appropriate regulatory measures to Parliament.

The President of the Republic wanted the government to bring to Parliament three major laws. The first, the Audiovisual Act, was enacted very recently. The other two, the Heritage Act, and of course the Creative Arts Act will be presented to the Council of Ministers on 1er quarter 2014.

I would like to thank you because I know that you have taken up the law of creation with determination, attention and enthusiasm. Beyond the technical measures, which are nevertheless very important, this law is essential and innovative because it will be the first time that national representation will be called to debate the creation and first of all the freedom of creation. The great principles of freedom that have guided cultural policies since the Liberation will find legislative support. For I want to say before you today that there is no creation without the freedom of creation. But there is also no freedom of creation without freedom of programming.

The consultation on the draft text is not over. The deadlines remain short but they are sufficient to complete the consultation. It is through this law that we will propose to legally secure FRAC collections while respecting the diversity of these institutions. It is also in this Act that we are going to enshrine research more firmly in art schools. It is finally this law that should welcome the provisions aimed at modernizing the social system of artists-authors, in particular so that certain designers are not excluded from it in an unfair and especially erratic way.

But the state is also a public funder. As you know, while the Department was called upon for the 2012/2014 three-year budget to contribute to the effort to redress the Public Accounts, the appropriations devoted to creation were preserved. For the year 2014, the credits of the visual arts increase even by 4.2% for the creation and the credits devoted to the graduate schools of art are stabilized. This is a major effort that is being made.

These increases go mainly to the regional cultural affairs directorates to support projects and places in the regions. It is also an important choice when the previous period chose rather Parisian places and projects.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to share with you the two main orientations of my policy in favour of the visual arts.

     I. Promoting the meeting between works and the public, all audiences, wherever they are located

My top priority is the public, in all territories, whether urban or rural, or “sensitive”. They are our fellow citizens, people of all ages, at school, in college, in high school, in university, in all artistic and cultural places, but also in their workplaces, in hospitals, in public spaces and even in prisons.

 To promote the meeting between artists, works and people where they are daily. This is the ambition of generalizing arts and cultural education.

I know that all of you here share this conviction and that all the actions you take are part of this ambition.

 For me, it is a matter of inflecting and trying to facilitate these meetings with the public by proposing new or renewed measures. 

      a. The public space

 In particular, I want to invest in public space. Public space is our shared living space. It is the space for sharing. It is the space that best expresses the ability of art to change daily life.

1. The public artistic commission of the State or accompanied by the State is one of the devices that I wish to develop and modernize. Local and regional authorities have been doing this for a long time. Today, they have taken over, everywhere in France, in metropolises as in the smallest villages.

 Here in Lyon, I am thinking of Rives de Saône, Boulevard des États-Unis, but also Veduta as part of the Biennale de Lyon.

 I am thinking of the monument to the dead of Guillaume Leblon, in Saint Martin-Cantalès, in the Cantal, which has less than 200 inhabitants per year.

 All these works constitute a true open-air museum, accessible to all and rich in major works.

This open-air museum is deployed in all fields of visual arts, including design. I am thinking of Matali Crasset for the Vent des Forêts in Lorraine, but also of Trebadan in Brittany.

 I hope that the State and its operators will pay more attention than ever to public artistic commissions. I asked the DRAC to focus their support on projects that involve people from the very design of the order. In this regard, the New Sponsors, a program of the Fondation de France, seems to me to be pioneering and exemplary.

 But the order is only valid if it continues to meet audiences over time.

 I therefore hope that the State will be able to remind public owners of their legal obligations regarding the conservation and restoration of works on their territory.

 The public must also be able to easily know the information about the works it encounters. Who is the artist? When was the work created? What are the artist’s intentions? Too often, we encounter works without even seeing them. However, technologies, particularly mobile technologies, make it possible, thanks to geolocation, to imagine solving this difficulty.

 That is why I wanted the Department to support the development of the Atlasmuseum project, a portal for art in public spaces, for which works will be geolocated and which will eventually include an application for mobile devices. The first works will be online very soon.

2. Finally, public artistic commission is also the 1%, a device that has proved its worth.

The Department has undertaken a lot of work to identify and improve the situation. It will continue, notably through the organization of a “1% School Day” in the fall of 2014. This event, to which I hope cultural institutions will be associated, should be an opportunity for students and their teachers to discover or rediscover works in schools, colleges, high schools, universities…

3. To go even further, I will soon launch the Mission nationale de l'art dans l'espace public, MNACEP, which will be resolutely transdisciplinary and professionally animated. It will combine street arts, visual arts, design in close association with architecture and heritage. The street is artistic and cultural. This is a strong conviction that I share with you.

      b. The circulation of collections

I also hope that the public collections will circulate more, that they will go to meet those who, still too numerous, do not push the door of exhibitions.

That is why I asked the President of the Centre Pompidou, Alain Seban, to make me proposals on the matter.

 1. The report highlights the importance of the Frac work. I wanted to highlight it. In this spirit, I signed in Toulouse, on the day of the inauguration of the exhibition for the 30 years of the FRAC, a framework agreement with the Minister of National Education, Vincent PEILLON, the representative of the President of the Regions of France, in the presence of the President of Platform, the FRAC association. This agreement aims to facilitate the lending of works of FRAC in schools. It is important because, for the first time, all rectors have been made aware of the potential of FRAC.

2. It was also following this report that I asked the Service des musées de France, the DGCA and the Réunion des musées nationaux to imagine a project to circulate works of public collections: public collections of national and territorial museums, FRAC, FNAC and other national operators.

Cultural action in the world of work is one of the foundations of cultural policy. Not far from here, in Villeurbanne, activists such as Roger Planchon at the Théâtre national populaire and Jean-Louis Maubant at the «Nouveau musée» today Institut d'art contemporain and FRAC Rhône-Alps, have carried this ideal and this requirement very far which finds its roots in the Popular Front. It is with this ideal that it is necessary to renew.

 This is also why, with Arnaud Montebourg, we wanted to accompany artist residencies in industrial sites. Five pilot sites will be featured in April 2014 during Industry Week.

 In each of these projects, I will ensure that territorial cultural actors are involved. This is absolutely essential for the success and sustainability of these initiatives, which must be renewed regularly and be sustainable to make sense.

 3. It was also in this spirit of networking and synergy that, at my request, the Collection 21 working groups worked. Many of those who worked on the 21 proposals for public collections of contemporary art at 21th I would like to thank them very warmly for this work and for their enthusiasm. The proposals emanating from the three working groups devoted to the enrichment of the collections, their knowledge and dissemination as well as to mediation, are both pragmatic and ambitious because they emanate from professionals, in an exemplary bottom-up approach.   They have a work schedule. I have asked my services to monitor their implementation carefully.

Ladies and gentlemen, the encounter with creation for all, everywhere, is the first axis of the policy that I conduct in the visual arts as in all sectors of creation.

     II. The Economics of the Visual Arts

But all this is only possible if artists and creators find the right conditions for their creation, including, of course, the economic conditions of creation and fair remuneration.

All this is possible only if the institutions and companies that work with artists, public companies, but also private ones, meet favorable conditions for this activity. This is the second thrust of my policy in favour of the visual arts.

Unlike other creative sectors, the visual arts economy is still insufficiently reflected in our public policies. Very recently, a study commissioned by authors' societies from all sectors showed the weight of plastic and graphic creation in our country’s economy.

 In the field of visual arts, we have often confused “art economy” with “art market”. The art market is only one aspect of the economy of art and artists. One of the essential aspects. It’s not the only one. The means of production and dissemination allocated to art centres are also one of the vectors of this economy. Acquisition and ordering credits as well.

The career of an artist, a creator is built with both public and private actors. That is the sense of interdependence that I quoted in my introduction.

To act on the creative economy is not to be liberal, On the contrary, it is to bring visual arts into the economy of the cultural exception that our country has been carrying for many years in order to preserve cultural diversity and strengthen the influence of the French artistic scene.

To work on the creative economy is to work in a stream logic.

      a. Training

 Upstream, training is the first element of this process. I hope that the readability and coherence of our higher education in art and design will be strengthened. My art colleges, national or territorial, have worked hard to get them into the LMD. We will now work on access to these schools, by facilitating the creation of public preparatory classes, on the definition of the first cycle, and on that of a doctorate of practice in art. We will do so in close consultation with stakeholders, particularly ANDEA and CNEEA.

We are committed to a harmonization of the statutes of professors of the territorial public service with those of the State public service and a better consideration of their research activities. These measures will be included in the Creative Arts Policy Act.

In terms of training, I would also like to commend the exemplary work that has been done to provide artists with access to continuing education. The scheme, managed by AFDAS, received 900 applications for internships in 4 months of existence. It is a huge success.

     b. Rights, remuneration of artists and employees

Downstream, the activity of artists but also of employees working in this sector must find a fair remuneration.

I have raised the issue of modernizing the social system of artist authors, which will be strictly preserved.

It is also in this spirit that I fully support the initiative of the social partners to engage in a collective agreement for the sector. I am delighted in this regard that SYNDEAC, with its expertise, is one of the major players, alongside CIPAC and the trade union organizations.

     c. Galleries

And of course, the companies that are art galleries and especially those that act on the first market, in favor of the promotion of artists, must also find conditions favorable to their development. I am pleased with the partnership relationships that are developing and the joint work that is being done between public and private partners. Without the galleries of Anri Sala and the collectors who support it, for example, the work that was presented in the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale could not have been produced.

That is why the government supported the parliamentary initiative to maintain the VAT rate on imports, which is more a customs duty than a VAT rate.

That is also why I have asked IFCIC and DGCA to work on a repayable advance fund for art galleries: FARGA. It will support the development of galleries. It will be operational from the beginning of 2014.

     d. The design mission: the diffusion of creation in companies

In this spirit of «creative recovery» of our country, I launched, with Arnaud Montebourg, a mission in favor of design, which was entrusted to the former director of ENSCI, Alain CADIX. In addition to the proposals presented to us by this mission, which brings together a college of designers, it contributes to the awareness of the place and the essential role of creation in the economy of our country.

As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, there are many different projects. I am not quoting them all. They are coherent. Their coherence is the conviction that we share and that we want to share even more that artistic creation is an essential part of our lives and that no one should be unfairly removed from it.

On the pediment of the FRAC Nord Pas de Calais in Dunkirk, which we inaugurated less than two weeks ago, a neon work by Scott King hangs with a sentence, which he attributes to punk singer Stiv BATORS «Art is simply proof of a life fully lived».

That is what drives us, that drives you, and that is what we share.