Condensation-Artists in residence Hermès workshops

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[Title] Condensation
   Artists in residence in Hermès workshops
[Date] March 20 (Thursday), – June 30 (Monday), 2014

Le Forum is holding an exhibition entitled “Condensation” highlighting the process and the resulting output of “Artists residencies” organized by Fondation d'entreprise Hermès.

Artists residencies in Hermès workshop began in summer 2010. Established by the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, this program seeks to create a link between the expertise involved in highly skilled craftwork and contemporary artistic creation. The Fondation d'entreprise Hermès works directly with artists by supporting their artistic output. This commitment is already evidenced in the shows staged by the Foundation in Hermès exhibition venues, as well as in the New Settings program –at the intersection between performance and plastic arts.

In the residency program, emerging artists have an opportunity to produce works of art that draw on outstanding know-how and use materials that would otherwise be difficult for them to obtain, such as crystal, certain types of leather, silver and silk. Offering this environment for artistic creation leads to unique adventures in art. The workshops are also fully committed to the Foundation’s program. The latter gives their artisans the opportunity to hone their skills by devoting time to unsual projects that open up the shop floor to new concepts.

For its part, the Foundation undertakes to highlight these residencies and the resulting output, in order to raise the profile of the artists in question. For instance, the sixteen works produced to date were on show in the Condensation exhibition, staged by Gaël Charbau in summer 2013 at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, following by Ginza Maison Hermès Le Forum, the first time outside of France. This initiative will be a fascinating artistic and human endeabour. Genuinely close working relationships have been built up over time.

Overall principles

The artist residency program is taking its place in close collarboration with the workshops. The artists in residence have been suggested to the Foundation by established, internationally-renowned artists under a mentorship scheme. The four mentors are Susanna Fritscher, Richard Deacon, Giuseppe Penone and Emmanuel Saulnier. They have been chosen for their educational talents, their experience in working with materials – and of course for their artistic excellence. The mentors have taken on this mission for a four-year period, nominating new artists each year.

The goal of the program is to provide motivated young artists with an opportunity to develop an original work of art, using techniques and materials which would otherwise be too costly for them. Each residency takes place at a different site in the Hermès manufacturing division.

The residencies are directed at young French-speaking artists (in order to facilitate communication in the workshops). Between 2010 and 2013, sixteen residencies have been organized in Hermès workshops.

The sixteen artists residencies

2010    Elisabeth S.Clark at the Maroquinerie de Sayat
       Benoît Piéron at the Atelier AS
       Olivier Sévère at the Cristalleries de Saint-Louis
       Simon Boudvin at the Maroquinerie des Ardennes
2011    Marine Class at Puiforcat
       Sébastien Gschwind at the Maroquinerie de Saint-Antoine
       Atsunobu Kohira at the Cristalleries de Saint-Louis
       Émilie Pitoiset at the Maroquinerie de Pierre-Bénite
2012    Olivier Beer at the Cristalleries de Saint-Louis
       Oh You Kyeong at Puiforcat
       Félix Pinquier at the Maroquinerie de Belley
       Andrés Ramirez at the Atelier AS
2013    Gabriele Chiari at the Atelier AS
       Marcos Avila Forero at the Maroquinerie Nontronnaise
       Marie-Anne Franqueville at the Cristalleries de Saint-Louis
       Anne-Charlotte Yver at John Lobb

How artists residencies in workshops are organized

The artists produces two copies of their work. They retain full ownership of one, while the second is kept by the Foundation to be presented in the workshops, as well as in exhibitions worldwide.

The artists have an entirely free hand, but must be willing to start with a “blank page” – in other words, with not preconceived ideas of what they will be creating. As a result, the residency starts off with a short observation period ahead of the formal start of their residency, which lasts for between two and three months.

During the residency, artists’ expenses are taken care of by the Foundation, and they receive a grant.The workshops also play their part by assisting the artists on a daily basis, both technically and with logistics.

At the same time, the Foundation carries out promotional work to raise the artists’ profile, in particular by putting together “Residency Journals”.

The dialogue established between the artists and the artisans is designed to nurture a degree of mutual emulation, enabling all those involved to move forward in terms of practice – as well as fire their imaginations. Encounters like these are destined to be both professionally and personally enriching, and as such they embody the Foundation’s core values.
2014/02/28 21:00