Arts

Three become one: Montpellier Contemporain unites art school with exhibition venues

The Moco offers a "horizontal model" merging Montpellier art school with the exhibition venues Hôtel des Collections and La Panacée
Photo: Yohann Gozard

The southern French city of Montpellier, long home to a thriving cultural scene, will on 29 June gain a three-headed contemporary art institution that is unique in France. Montpellier Contemporain (Moco), a fusion of two exhibition venues and an art school, is the initiative of Montpelliers mayor since 2014, Philippe Saurel. The €6.9m project has been funded by the city and the state.

The 18th-century Hôtel des Collections, formerly the Hôtel de Montcalm, will host displays of private and public collections from around the world, with an inaugural show of 50 works owned by the Japanese fashion entrepreneur Yasuharu Ishikawa (Intimate Distance, 29 June-29 September). La Panacée, which previously specialised in photography, will focus on emerging artists.

Aligning the venues with the Montpellier School of Fine Arts (ESBA) creates a “horizontal model”, says Mocos director Nicolas Bourriaud, the former director of the Paris School of Fine Arts. ESBA has reconfigured its curriculum so that all 200 students will play a role in the institution. Their immersion begins with a new hall of residence at La Panacée, a campus set-up that is unprecedented in the French art school system.

Students have the opportunity to join Mocos curatorial and communications teams as interns. “It is as rewarding for them as it is for the institution, since they are partly responsible for making sure everything goes smootRead More – Source

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