Following an unprecedented process involving the teams of the three Regional Funds of Contemporary Art of the Great East and within the framework of a desired recruitment of a team of three directors, Felizitas DIERING, Marie GRIFFAY, and Fanny GONELLA, were appointed respectively to the management of FRAC located in the territories of Alsace (Sélestat), Champagne-Ardenne (Reims) and Lorraine (Metz).

Atypical recruitment

Initially, candidates were selected individually on the basis of a project for one of the three FRAC. Following this pre-selection, they were invited to form freely trinomials carrying a common project for the FRAC of the Great East. Each member of the trinome had to choose a unifying axis: mediation; territorial action; international influence.

The jury, composed of the governances of FRAC, founding partners (State and Region) associating qualified personalities, including a director of a FRAC in office, examined the applications thus formed taking into account the quality of the artistic projects, but also:

  • cooperation between the three FRAC;
  • the specialised orientation of each directorate while retaining the full remit of each structure;
  • the harmonization of the action of the three associative structures, all of which remain independent.

A renewed partnership and an innovative process

The founding partners, Ministry of Culture and Greater Eastern Region, have carried out a demanding consultation involving largely teams and interlocutors of Frac, then a collective work of shaping and implementing the project of bringing together the three FRAC of the Grand Est region. They welcome the outcome of an original procedure, welcomed by candidates and partners, both in the region and in the cross-border area.

This will be based on the development of a collaborative model based on new ways of working on a daily basis. A monitoring committee composed of the founding partners and the directors will accompany this permanent consultation between the three Fracs.

A cross-border team

Felizitas DIERING from Freiburg-en-Brisgau. In particular, she directed the Regional, an annual trinational event on the scale of the Upper Rhine, bringing together nineteen contemporary art venues and institutions, from 2012 to 2017, after having been curator in charge of exhibitions at the Basel Art Centre (CH) from 2010 to 2012.

Marie GRIFFAY is French. Between 2011 and 2016, she was Conservation Attaché at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Curator of the exhibition Martí Anson at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris and Head of the production department for exhibitions and editions at the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne.

Fanny GONELLA, French, runs the Künstlerhaus in Bremen (Germany) since February 2014, after having curated the Bonner Kunstverein in Bonn between 2010 and 2014. From October 2009 to May 2010 she was Curator of a Master Class program for the Association des Écoles d'Art of the Great East, Consolidation of institutions prior to the new homonymous region.

The new managers see ' the networking of FRAC du Grand Est as an opportunity to work within a cooperative model that allows to pool knowledge, ideas and contacts. ” stating that “ while maintaining the artistic autonomy of each place, a space for discussion will be set up, in particular to discuss the respective projects. (…) The three axes (territorial action, international action and mediation) will be developed in cooperation. ». Each director will continue to lead a unique artistic project for the FRAC («The spirit of play between rule and turbulence» in Reims, «Remembrance is a form of encounter» in Sélestat, «The balance between the presence of male and female artists in the collection» in Metz).

Their vision

The new space of the Grand Est region offers a vast territory that, through the combined action of the FRAC Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine, opens up perspectives to expand the commitment of these structures in the field of artistic creation, but also in society. The objective of this recomposition is to irrigate the region by offering audiences access to artistic research and creation, in response to societal transformations.

We envisage the networking of the Grand Est FRAC as an opportunity to work within a cooperative model that allows knowledge and ideas to be shared. While maintaining the artistic autonomy of each place, a space for discussion is set up, notably in order to discuss the respective projects. This working base makes it possible to enrich and illuminate in a new way the approaches of the three structures. We hope that this new configuration will allow us to generate greater visibility, both from the common work and the respective approaches of the three FRAC, in order to conceive together a new open cultural ecosystem celebrating diversity.

The project we have designed offers a space for experimentation and reflection for all, based on the active participation of audiences and the positioning of the artist and the work at the centre of this ecosystem. This vision is supported by a tailor-made dissemination programme, accompanied by awareness-raising activities in order to stimulate fruitful debates and promote three collections of living art that have acquired heritage value over the years. The FRAC Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine wish to establish together a collaborative link with the local fabric; a link of proximity allowing the synergy between territory and creation, for the benefit of individuals and ideas.