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Visual arts

Plastic arts, photography, digital arts, art reviews and art curating, design, graphic arts, art trades, etc. are the many fields of visual arts for which the Institut français provides advice, expertise and assistance in distribution and creation, whether French, African or Caribbean in origin (through its Afrique and Caraïbes en créations) program.

Major Events

Venice Biennale
In charge of ensuring French representation at the International Art Exhibit of Venice, organized every two years, the Institut français is the producer of the French Pavilion alongside the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
For the 56th Exhibit, in 2015, the Rêvolutions Project proposed by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot and Emma Lavigne represented France. In 2013, Anri Sala, accompanied by Curator Christine Macel, presented his project entitled Ravel Unravel I.
Photography Biennale of Bamako
A stepping stone for African photography, the Bamako Encounters will now be open to new images and video. Bringing together over 400 international professionals for its opening week, the Biennale offers great visibility for the artists selected following a call for applications. On completion of this application procedure, exhibits will then travel to museums and art centers abroad.
Its 10th anniversary, devoted to the theme of ‘‘Telling Time’’, is currently being held up to December 31, 2015.
Great Events with the French Cultural Network
In 2014-2015: Mano a mano, Crossed Photographic Glimpses in France/Mexico; ART2, international contemporary art platform in the U.S.; Bonjour India platform; Croisements (China); Digital Choc (Japan); Ceci n'est pas (US).
Campaigns with French Partners

Traveling Artists and Works

Fostering the travels of artists and their works
The Institut français helps French artists or those living in France show their works abroad, whether in a large or small format. This type of support is also provided to southern countries through its Afrique and Caraïbes en créations program. This consists of a yearly call for projects, with files submitted on IFprog in the fall.
Contemporary Art Fund
Co-financed by the Institut français, both the Fluxus contemporary art fund (with the UK) and Perspektive (with Germany) support bilateral cooperation projects both in artistic creation and their distribution in both partner countries.
The residency programs of the Institut français enable French and foreign creative talent – artists, filmmakers, exhibit curators, authors, etc. – to stay for a few weeks or a few months in another country in order to develop a creative project, with aid provided by way of a scholarship or the provision of accommodation. These programs, most often cross-disciplinary in nature, include a part devoted to visual arts.
Residency for foreign artists in Paris
Residency for foreign artists in Paris, in conjunction with a partner body (a cultural venue or resource center, gallery, company) artist or qualified personality from the world of art and culture present in France.
  • Hors les murs
Intended for French artists or those living in France wishing to experiment and develop a specific project abroad.
  • Louis Lumière
Cinema/Documentary Creation Residency Program.
  • American Residencies
Residency in partnership with a local American body identified by the artist.
Residency of French artists as well as Franco-Japanese duos for a common project.
  • Visas for Creation
Intended for artists residing in Africa or the Caribbean wishing to develop a specific research or creative project in France or in another country in Africa or the Caribbean.
Devoted to contemporary art in all its forms (photography, chalcography, video, mural painting, etc.), such exhibits foster a cross-disciplinary approach to different forms of expression. They are proposed to the French Cultural Network, to be viewed all over the world.

Professional Mobility

Foreign professionals’ search for French artistic stages
FOCUS on Visual Arts aims at helping foreign professionals find French artistic stages. Each session bringing together ten curators selected among the promising celebrities from different proposing and emerging countries, this program includes visits to locations dedicated to contemporary art and encounters with professionals. It takes place twice a year, for events with great visibility in France; namely, the Montrouge Trade Fair, FIAC, Lyon Biennale, Design Biennale of Saint-Etienne, etc.
In 2014, a FOCUS completely dedicated to Photography was held for the first time.
The last FOCUS on Visual Arts took place on October 19-23, 2015.
Program open to French Curators
This program dedicated to Young Curators aims at exhibiting the work and research of French Curators and art critics by enabling them to become part of international professional networks. Original collaborative work on the part of Curators is organized with acclaimed international partners: Banff Centre (Canada), Independent Curator International (US), Schloss Solitude (Germany), SongEu Art Foundation (South Korea), Capacete (Brazil), in collaboration with French partners – particularly, the Palais de Tokyo, Associated Exhibit Commissioners Association (CEA). French art critics take part in contemporary debates in partnership with foreign and French institutions such as the National Art History Institute (INHA), the Archives of art reviews in Rennes as well as the International Art Critics Association (AICA).
An international cooperation program, Entr’écoles, aims at fostering exchanges between French art schools – territorial and national – and art schools/universities or other foreign structures focusing on common projects. This consists in enhancing French innovation in fields such as design, fashion, digital creation, transmedia and applied arts. This program aims at assisting in launching cooperation for long-term projects.
For example, in 2015, the ‘‘Lyon-Havana, How many Worlds?’’  project led by the Higher School of Fine Arts of Lyon (École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon - ENSAB) and the Universidad de las Artes de Cuba of Havana.

Photograph: Rêvolutions, by Céleste Boursier Mougenot, at the 2015 Venice Biennale © Laurent Lecat
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