The Frac Poitou-Charentes operates in two different locations to fulfil its missions of collecting, disseminating and facilitating comprehension of contemporary art. In Angoulême, a purpose-built structure designed by Jean-Marie Mandon has, since 2008, been the site of temporary exhibitions, a resource centre and administrative offices. In Linazay, between Angoulême and Poitiers, works from the collection have, since 2009, been stored in high-class museum reserves adjacent to areas for experimentation and exhibition within an architectural structure revamped by Jean-Pierre Fauvel.
Currently comprising nearly 1,000 artworks, the Frac Poitou-Charentes collection mirrors the latest developments and diverse nature of artistic concerns and practices, ever mindful of emerging artists whose approaches are compared with what are now established works. It is a forward-looking collection, reflecting the investigation and analysis of our society, its workings, codes and productions as undertaken by artists in fields as wide-ranging as painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, video, performance or the protocol to be applied.
As well as a regular agenda of temporary on-site exhibitions, supplemented with ‘The Player’, a video work programme, and studded with public gatherings, hands-on workshops and support for cross-disciplinary creative educational initiatives and training, the eight-person team at the Frac Poitou-Charentes designs and organises between twelve and fifteen exhibitions each year in partnership with other institutions. It also conducts a large number of activities relating to artwork dissemination, outreach and promotion, awareness-raising and training throughout the north-western areas of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
Synergies developed between the Frac Poitou-Charentes, the Frac-Artothèque Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MECA foster a sense of ownership and promotion of their collections across Nouvelle-Aquitaine in the form of professional encounters, joint artistic commissions, combined invitations to exhibition curators and research projects based on their collections.
Through our professional practices in the cultural arena and the artistic approaches we choose to support, we are seeking to provide an enhanced experience of artworks and the effects of art on our society. We suggest alternatives to the conventional forms of cultural offering in ways that are more mindful of the diverse nature of culture and of the expression of individual aspirations, more open to the legitimacy of devolution and horizontal forms of collaboration, more receptive to the skills of others. Building on values of the symbiosis that is a historical cultural hallmark of our region, we encourage any individual or group of people interested in our work to see themselves alongside us as contributors as much as receivers, as producers as much as consumers, and as actors as much as spectators.
Our policy of cultural devolution is, moreover, one of the pillars of our approach to artwork acquisition. These works open our collection up to non-Western cultural spheres, to a post-colonial consciousness, to the notion of the making of history and the expression of dignities and minorities. As such, our collection also reflects its link to a maritime area traversed and nourished by continental and intercontinental flux and movement.
Another pillar of our acquisitions policy entitled ‘efficiences critiques de l’art’ reflects a sustained interest in artistic approaches that address the concept of institutions, established forms and formats of the art world, by investigating the place of the artist and the efficiency of art in society, exploring notions of freedom and democracy, and experimenting with new forms of sociability and interaction with and through art.
The pillar entitled ‘esthétiques et imageries contemporaines’ is linked to the culture of creation, production and dissemination of images and visual narratives characteristic of the Angoulême area, famous for its international comics festival. It is a way of combining very different works that provide a comparative overview of contemporary aesthetics, challenging the status, distribution and economy of images and questioning the highly salient nature of appearances. A fourth pillar, recently created, concerns works that help to shape awareness of ecological and environmental issues through a forward-looking approach to the relationship between rural and urban life.
Alexandre Bohn has been director of FRAC Poitou-Charentes since September 2007. His texts were published in Revue Noire, Le Journal des Expositions, Verso arts et lettres, Parachute, art press, dëtzebuerger Land, Mouvement. He was a mediator and lecturer in the cultural department of the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris) from 1999 to 2002. From 2003 to 2006, he was advisor for the plastic arts of the Department of the Meuse. In this role, he directed the rural contemporary art space Le Vent des Forêts.
63 Bd Besson Bey
16000 Angoulême, France
Site de Linazay
Lieu-dit "Les Alleux"
RN 10, sortie Linazay
86400 Linazay, France
+33 (0)5 45 92 87 01