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), La Réunion since 2021, Geneva area since 2022 and Centre Loire-Valley since 2024.
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.
To join a Documents d'artists for documentation of artistic works, artists active in the territories where the associations are located can respond to calls for applications issued each year by each of the associations. The selection criterias are common to each Documents d'artists : having carried out a professional artistic activity for more than 3 years; working in the field of contemporary art; exhibiting regularly in contemporary art venues in France and/or abroad.
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 2023, the works of a selection of more than 300 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), ddabretagne.org presents in 2023 the works of 110 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-auvergnerhonealpes.org presents digital folios comprised of numerous documentary resources and enriched by a constant supply of new content. As of 2023, the online archive gives access to around 100 artists’ folios.
This freely and openly accessible online content is complemented by various dissemination and communication initiatives. DDA-AuRA 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-AuRA 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
Jade Ronat-Mallié, webmaster and head of communications
Pascal Bernard, webmaster
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.
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 75 monographic folios (2023), 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
Anna Buros, webmaster and head of communications
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 and Gironde.
Documents d'artistes Occitanie
The large number of artists based in the vast and diverse territory of the Occitanie region, as well as the presence of dissemination structures at different scales, together with the need for inter-knowledge and visibility of the art scene, are all reasons that prompted the creation of Documents d'artistes Occitanie in 2019, on the model of other homonymous documentary funds in France.
Through its website launched in February 2022, Documents d'artistes Occitanie works to draw a demanding and singular documentary cartography of the work of visual artists in the Occitanie region.The Documents d'artistes Occitanie documentary fund is the basis from which a set of actions is regularly proposed in the interest of increasing the visibility and circulation of artists' work. The association regularly organizes studio visits for presenters, called "Meet up". In order to promote the work of the artists of the documentary fund and to envisage this collaboration on the long term, Documents d'artistes Occitanie also puts in relation the artists with art critics.
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, ddalareunion.org 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.
Bérénice Saliou, director
Valérie Abella, webmaster and head of communication
Mathilde Rousselie, communication and web assistant
ddaR patrons: Julie Crenn, Thierry Fontaine
Partners: Direction des affaires culturelles (DAC) Réunion, Réunion Region, Departmental Council of La Réunion.
Documents d'artistes Geneva
Created in April 2021, the association DDA-Geneva joined the Réseau dda in July 2022. This is the first time that Documents d'artistes has been established in a territory bordering France, thus marking the international opening of the dda Network.
Located at the southwestern tip of Lake Geneva and sharing its border with France, Geneva is one of the 26 Swiss cantons. Its plural and multicultural artistic scene is marked not only by the presence and the force of attraction of an art school of international importance (HEAD - Geneva), of several museums and art centers, but also by alternative and associative milieus, very active and self-managed by artists and cultural actors.
Conceived as a collective and experimental project, the dda-geneve.ch platform constitutes a reference and reflection resource for the documentation of this effervescence. It aims at valorizing and diffusing the work of active artists on the Geneva territory through a long term collaboration. Mainly dedicated to the online edition of monographic files, it wishes to contribute to the synergy between different regional, national and international networks. The platform will be regularly updated and enriched by commissioning texts from authors and curators from the worlds of institutions, art criticism and academia, as well as by other types of content such as podcasts. Satellite projects such as studio visits, exhibitions, encounters and publishing productions will continue to feed these spaces of dialogue, also with the general public.
Team: Marie Du Pasquier, Sara Petrucci, Zsuzsanna Szabo, artistic directors
Tél : 0041 79 197 88 71
Adress: Documents d’artistes Genève, Picto Espace de production artistique, Avenue Ernest-Pictet 28, 1203 Genève
DDA Centre-Val de Loire (Centre-Loire Valley)
The regional territory has been particularly active in the creation of DDA Centre-Val de Loire. This support and documentation tool dedicated to the work of artists based in Centre-Val de Loire has been requested both by artists, visual arts professionals, but also by cultural project leaders from other sectors. From 2019 to 2023, DDA Centre-Val de Loire was patiently built on a regional scale thanks to a collective and territorial initiative led by the regional visual arts network, devenir·art.
Currently in its production phase, the first ten artists' files will be put online during the last quarter of 2024. Orders for critical texts, sound podcasts and documentaries have been initiated in order to complete certain artistic journeys. Beyond its documentary base, DDA Centre-Val de Loire engages in discussions with partners for the implementation of actions in the regional territory in the short and medium term. These are all creative opportunities for meetings and dialogues which will give visibility to artists and raise public awareness of contemporary art. The DDA CVL documentary collection is obviously aimed at professionals but it is also intended for amateur audiences who will find content and references for each of the artists represented.
Team : Cindy Daguenet, director
Léah Geay : web assistant
Adress: Documents d’artistes Centre Val de Loire, CCC OD Jardin François 1er, 37000 Tours
Partners: Ministère de la culture - DRAC Centre-Val de Loire, région Centre-Val de Loire.
DDA Centre-Val de Loire is member of devenir·art, visual art network in Centre-Val de Loire.
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.
DDA is in progress in French Caraïbes (Guadeloupe and Martinique).