© DR
© DR

Institut d'art contemporain Villeurbanne / Rhône-Alpes

As a platform for creation and exploration for the art of today, the IAC (Institute of Contemporary Art)  holds an array of in situ exhibitions and events on its 1,200 sq. m. premises, as well as developing an internationally acknowledged collection (1,900 artworks). In an art space that is updated for each event, the IAC organises three periods of exhibitions annually. Solo exhibitions, the most intimate showcases of an artist and their work, are a defining feature of IAC’s vision, and have included Jef Geys (2007), Michel François, Matt Mullican (2010), Joachim Koester (2011), Manfred Pernice (2013), Guillaume Leblon (2014), Jason Dodge (2016), Ann Veronica Janssens, Maria Loboda (2017), Katinka Bock (2018) and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (2019).

Building on its in situ activities, the IAC also undertakes numerous ex situ projects at both national and international level, as well as throughout the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. These range from disseminating its collection to promoting emerging artists (through the initiatives ‘Jeune création internationale’ / ‘Biennale de Lyon’ and ‘Galeries Nomades’).

Vue de l'IAC et de l'espace labo / copyright: Thomas Lannes
Vue de l’IAC et de l’espace labo / copyright: Thomas Lannes

The IAC also engages in experimental research activities through the Laboratory Space Brain, launched in 2009 by Nathalie Ergino and the artist Ann Veronica Janssens. In view of recent scientific breakthroughs (neuroscience, astrophysics, anthropology, biology, geology, etc.), as well as renewed interest in hypnosis, shamanism and animism, the Laboratory Space Brain seeks to bring together researchers and artists, with intuition as their driving force, shared imagination as their bedrock and collective interaction as their modus operandi.

Nathalie Ergino © Blaise Adilon
Nathalie Ergino © Blaise Adilon

Listening to the sounds of the world and the voices of those who might never set foot in an art centre

‘Both a FRAC and an art centre, the IAC is above all a laboratory where there is no limit to creative experimentation and where research is the guiding principle. In short, it is an institute.
The IAC collection forms part of this approach as the perfect vector for exploring in greater depth; it enables a virtuous circle to be drawn over the region and over time, whereby in situ creation gives rise to the collection, which itself in turn will give rise to creation ex situ. By adopting this more leisurely time frame, there is more scope for a close relationship between the artists and researchers; the Laboratory Space Brain has been committed to such forms of interaction since 2009. The global and cosmological crisis that is currently upon us calls for a change in our modes of being, and this interface can help us do so. In this way, the IAC suggests experimenting with other visions of the world in vivo.
More than ever before, we feel the need to change the way we do things, to interlace scientific, artistic and everyday narratives, to start listening to the sounds of the world and the voices of those who might never set foot in an art centre. The collective experience of the global crisis is therefore a call to apply the work carried out by the Laboratory Space Brain so as to devise a mutually supportive “us”, both human and non-human.’

— Nathalie Ergino, Director of the IAC Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes

Nathalie Ergino has been director of the IAC (Institute of Contemporary Art) since 2006. She headed Le Collège/Frac Champagne-Ardenne from 1994 to 2000, followed by the [mac] Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseille from 2001 to 2005; at both institutions she curated major solo exhibitions (in Reims: Chris Burden, Raymond Hains, Franz West; in Marseille: Jimmie Durham, Rodney Graham, Carsten Höller, Ann Veronica Janssens) and group exhibitions such as Maisons-Cerveaux in Reims and Sub-réel in Marseille.
At the IAC, Nathalie Ergino upholds solo exhibitions as a defining feature of the institute’s vision (including Anthony McCall in 2006, Laurent Montaron in 2009, Matt Mullican in 2010, Joachim Koester in 2011 and Guillaume Leblon in 2014). In 2009, together with the artist Ann Veronica Janssens, she also founded the Laboratory Space Brain, a cross-disciplinary initiative that sets out to investigate, from the perspective of artistic experimentation, the practical and theoretical research that make it possible to connect space and brain and, from the Station 10, the organic links between humankind and the cosmos, in the quest for a cosmological model or world vision that is no longer anthropomorphic but ‘cosmomorphic’.

Technical acquisition committee

Nathalie Ergino
Directrice de l'Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes
Martin Germann
Commissaire d'exposition indépendant et commissaire associé au Mori Art Museum de Tokyo
Hélène Guénin
Directrice du Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain de Nice - Mamac
Flora Katz
Critique d'art et curatrice à Luma Arles
Laurent Montaron


Jean-Patrice Bernard
Nathalie Ergino


11 rue Docteur Dolard
69100 Villeurbanne, France

T. +33 (0)4 78 03 47 00

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