DOCUMENTS D’ARTISTES : A MEANS TO DISCOVER REGIONAL ART SCENES
DDA associations have existed in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur since 1999, in Bretagne (Brittany) since 2009, in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes since 2010, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine since 2012, Occitanie (Occitania) and La Réunion since 2021.
The common objective of these associations is to exhibit online monographs of selected visual artists living and working in their respective regions. As a complement to the initiatives of local cultural stakeholders, the DDAs function as the providers of a resource—namely, a professional online registry of contemporary art accessible to all.
The folios are compiled in collaboration with the artists and regularly updated to reflect the evolution of their artistic production. This extensive editorial enterprise undertaken by the teams is supplemented by initiatives focused on mediation, communication, and professional support, with the aim of promoting artists and the development of their art. Each DDA is thus a friend of the arts in its region, acting in partnership with the various constituents of its particular cultural fabric.
By assembling and regularly updating a dynamic and evolving online artist folio archive, DDAs showcase the vitality of regional art scenes, helping them garner exposure and increasing appreciation among public and professionals alike.
Documents d'artistes Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Based at the Friche de la Belle de Mai in Marseille, DDA Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur was established in 1999 on the initiative of the region’s department for cultural affairs (with the support of the Délégation aux arts plastiques), publicising and training numerous artists in the intent of increasing the visibility of this welcoming territory’s dynamic character.
documentsdartistes.org is the first website to offer access to a resource that was conceived through a direct dialogue with the artists about their work. Pioneered by Marceline Matheron and Christine Finizio, the DDA project allows for the publication of information emphasising the issues of contemporary creation, while restoring agency to artists in the mediation of their artistic output.
As of 2021, the works of a selection of more than 250 artists have been presented. DDA-PACA also employs other means to increase the visibility and enrolment of artists in its professional network by:
• Organising Meet Up, a programme of studio visits held to benefit French and international professionals;
• Producing videos on artists, exhibitions, artworks, etc.;
• Running workshops and training studios in higher-education art schools (écoles supérieurs d’art);
• Participating in public events in partnerships with various organs of artistic distribution;
• Commissioning texts on artists; and
• Putting together online publishing projects in response to specific events or contexts: e.g., Homework, a series of videos made at home by artists; or the online magazine additionaldocument.org.
Guillaume Mansart, general and artistic director
Olivier Baudevin, webmaster
Jade Czarnecki, webmaster
Address: DDA-PACA is based at the Friche de la Belle de Mai in Marseille, in office 1 X 6, 1er étage des magasins (shop floor), 13331 Marseille CEDEX 3.
Partners: Regional Directorate for Cultural Affairs (DRAC) PACA, Région Sud, Bouches-du-Rhône department, Alpes-Maritimes department, City of Marseille, City of Nice. Documents d’artistes PACA is a founding participant in the Friche de la Belle de Mai’s Société Coopérative d’Intérêt Collectif, and a member of the Provence Art Contemporain network.
Documents d'artistes Bretagne
Launched in 2009 on the initiative of Christine Finizio (quickly joined by Aurélie Venot), DDA Bretagne presents in 2021 the works of 90 visual artists living in Brittany.
The organisation, based in the Passerelle Centre for Contemporary Art in Brest, has had a hand in the process of establishing a network among actors in the regional contemporary art scene, with a view to supporting artists in the development of their art. Liaising with its partners, it undertakes various programmes in pursuit of a structured professional contemporary art scene, of its recognition as such, and of the professionalisation of emerging artists.
In addition to building up the folio archive with artists, DDA Bretagne :
• Commissions and produces critical texts and video portraits;
• Connects artists and contemporary art professionals, notably through studio visits;
• Trains and professionally supports students at the European Academy of Art in Brittany (EESAB), through “professional practice” sessions for master’s students at the four campuses;
• Presents and archives art from recent EESAB graduates on the BASE website (base.ddab.org);
• Collaborates with the Passerelle Centre for Contemporary Art to plan the artist-in-residence programme Les Chantiers, targeted at emerging young artists from the region, which involves the production of both folios and video portraits (leschantiers-residence.com);
• Supports other artist-in-residence programmes in Brittany (Festival d’art de l’estran, Villa Rohannec’h…).
Christine Finizio, artistic director
Aurélie Venot, webmaster and head of communications
Léah Geay, web assistant
Address: DDA Bretagne, at Passerelle Centre for Contemporary Art, 41 rue Charles Berthelot, 29200 Brest.
Partners: DRAC Brittany, Regional Council of Brittany, Finistère department, Côtes-d’Armor department, Ille-et-Vilaine department, City of Brest, Brest Métropole Océane, City of Rennes.
DDA Brittany is a member of the Contemporary Art in Brittany network.
Documents d'artistes Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Created in Rhône-Alpes in 2010 and extended to Auvergne in 2016, the DDA Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (DDA-RA) website is dedicated to the works of plastic artists and designers based in the region. A tool for widening the reach of contemporary art, dda-ra.org presents digital folios comprised of numerous documentary resources and enriched by a constant supply of new content. As of 2021, the online archive gives access to around 90 artists’ folios.
This freely and openly accessible online content is complemented by various dissemination and communication initiatives. DDA-RA supports the professional development of artists in concert with the cultural network, nurturing an appreciation for the dynamism, diversity, and influence of the regional art scene.
In parallel with online documentation, DDA-RA regularly acts to increase the accessibility and distribution of artists’ works:
• Organising public events in partnership with different distributional venues (exhibitions, screenings, lectures, Meet Ups…);
• Being involved in artistic education, mediation, and continuing education;
• Publishing a special edition of 87 artists’ posters to commemorate its ten-year anniversary in 2020.
Lélia Martin-Lirot, coordinator and administrative/artistic director
Leïla Dada, webmaster and head of communications
Jade Ronat-Mallié, webmaster and head of communications
Address: The team shares communal and multidisciplinary premises in Lyon’s 7th arrondissement, as part of a temporary occupancy managed by Plateau Urbain.
Partners: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, City of Lyon, City of Saint-Étienne, City of Valence, Bullukian Foundation, Antoine de Galbert Foundation, Manufacture d’Histoires Deux-Ponts, with contributions from corporate and private donors.
Documents d'artistes Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Launched as DDA Aquitaine in 2012 on the initiative of Camille de Singly, DDA Nouvelle-Aquitaine (since 2017) documents and supports the work of the region’s plastic artists.
In collaboration with a host of local and national partners, the association, based in Bordeaux’s Fabrique POLA, aspires to give structure to the field of visual arts.
In addition to conceiving and updating an artists’ registry boasting almost 50 monographic folios as of the beginning of 2021, DDA Nouvelle-Aquitaine contributes to the distribution, recognition, and development of the regional art scene in a number of other ways:
• Producing and coproducing content in various forms (critical texts, filmed interviews, postcards, offprints…);
• Putting artists and professionals or collectors of contemporary art in contact with each other, notably through studio visits;
• Training and professionally supporting artists (Orient Express programme with the Fabrique POLA);
• Participating in workgroups within the Astre network, an authority involved in the conduct and evolution of the region’s visual arts contract;
• Digital cultural mediation;
• Creating spaces for reflection and exchange among professionals on the theme of artistic documentation.
Sébastien Gazeau, management and editorial development
Élodie Goux, administration and coordination of training, outreach, and partnerships
Address: Documents d’artistes Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Fabrique POLA, 10 quai de Brazza, 33100 Bordeaux.
Partners: Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine, City of Bordeaux, departmental councils of Dordogne, Gironde, and Corrèze.
The DDA Network both advises and supervises the efforts of those eager to establish artist folio archives in a new region. It supports project leads and active partners by allowing them to benefit from its experience when it comes to laying the groundwork. It also assists in the structuring of the new DDA, and validates its compliance with the mutual commitments set out in the charter and rules of use.
Documents d'artistes Occitanie
In view of its vast and varied region, home to a considerable number of artists; its existing vehicles of exposure in various proportions; and the need for visibility and mutual familiarity among those in the art scene, DDA Occitanie (Occitania) was established in 2019 on the model of its namesakes in other regions.
At the end of 2020, following a call for nominations, a preliminary selection committee convened to choose the first artists to be included in the registry:
Gaël Bonnefon, Elsa Brès, Célia Picard & Hannes Schreckensberger, Anne Deguelle, Jean Denant, Valérie du Chéné, Rémi Groussin, Lucie Laflorentie, Audrey Martin, and Jimmy Richer.
The work of folio archiving is accompanied by initiatives aiming to enhance the exposure of the work of Occitan artists and to integrate the region into national and international networks.
Satellite initiatives planned for 2021:
• commissioning critical texts;
• studio visits and portfolio readings;
• training programmes for students in art schools and for artists becoming professional.
Stefania Meazza, artistic director
Address: DDA Occitania is located in the Trois_A, a shared workspace and site of occasional artistic programming in Toulouse.
Partners: DRAC Occitania, Occitania Region, Gers department.
documents d'artistes La Réunion
The culmination of four years of writing, discussions, deliberation, and a search for partners, the documents d’artistes de La Réunion (ddaR) association has been able to launch its artist folio archive at the end of 2021: an accurate, up-to-date, critical documentary resource opening curious minds to Réunion’s contemporary art scene.
While creating a registry lays at the heart of the project, ddaR also conveys news about artists, publicising their pursuits by way of meetups, and participating in the sector’s professionalisation, while supporting the development and providing for the needs of artists.
Réunion’s art scene is rich and multiform. ddaR is a vehicle not only for discovering its key actors, but also for establishing connections among Réunion’s dynamic cultural structures. For metropolitan France, it opens a window on a complex art scene situated in the Indian Ocean. On the island and indeed beyond its shores, ddaR bolsters the influence and identity of this committed, lively, and ever-changing art scene.
The ddaR project was prefigured between 2017 and 2019 by the Cheminement(s) association. An initial curatorial selection in 2019 was reviewed by a selection committee in early 2020 to produce a list of the inaugural artists with whom ddaR has entered into collaboration for its launch:
Alice Aucuit, Soleïman Badat, Cristof Dènmont, Anne Fontaine, Esther Hoareau, Stéphanie Hoareau, Jean-Claude Jolet, Kako, Stéphane Kenkle, Kid Kreol & Boogie, KMVH, Jean-Marc Lacaze, Myriam Omar Awadi, Leïla Payet, Yohann Quëland de St Pern, Tiéri Rivière, Chloé Robert, Pascale Simont, and Abel Techer.
Valérie Abella, publication and communication
Claire Viardet, policy officer for coordination and development
ddaR patrons: Julie Crenn, Thierry Fontaine
Partners: Direction des affaires culturelles (DAC) Réunion, Réunion Region, Departmental Council of La Réunion.