© Maisha Marshall-Ende
From the beginning of the 20th century, art left the classical framework of representation to prefer a question real life, society, going so far as to create a new relationship with the public, turning away from simple aesthetic value. With conceptual art whose origins go back to Marcel Duchamp, and by favoring the message to the Thematic, contemporary art establishes a distance with the public. Misunderstood, it often refers to a certain idea of snobbery, of the elite, which the general public perceives as being sidelined, Pierre Bourdieu even speaking of culture as a “religion”, which can only concern people with a “cultivated gaze”.
Over time, this elite took over the reading of the works by going up the drawbridge behind them. In 2012, a study shows that 3 out of five French people (61%) have never experienced visiting an art gallery in their lifetime.
In geopolitics, we observe a concentration of the art market in Paris across France and in the United States (39%) / China (28%) / West (26%) for the rest of the world. Despite a breakthrough in contemporary art from the southern latitudes over the past five years and whose interest dominates in London, the presence of artists and art galleries on an international level is still anecdotal. These two observations have been the workhorse of Versant Sud: reducing the distance between the public and contemporary art and allowing artists from a territory where the art market is almost absent to benefit from a springboard at the start of a career. So how do you answer it?
Democratize and desacralize contemporary art: the Versant Sud team and its artists seek to meet the general public!
Versant Sud is also looking at the creative process in a new way: we work with visual artists halfway between pop culture and conceptual art. We base our choices on the interest of plastic creation before the social vocation, which is an inherent repercussion of the device.
Tailor-made work: our artists are involved in the art market from the creative phase to public communication.
We are locavores! We favor working with local operators to leverage the local economy: craftsmen, printers, framers, collectors, photographers, videographers, etc.
The encounter: we encourage the encounter between an artist and a craft, a spectator and an exhibition mediator, a speaker and a young neophyte to possibly act on trajectories.
Our fields of activity
Versant Sud develops artistic projects in southern latitudes. The cultural operator has launched Passages, a program of residencies and artistic exchanges which allows artists to take time outside the constraints of daily life to devote themselves to experimenting with their practice. This residency program contributes to revealing talents, allows the professionalization of artists, promotes meetings with buyers and plays a decisive role in the mobility of artists.
At the same time, conferences and encounters in art history are offered in spaces open to the general public, free (or at low prices depending on the venue) and accessible to all (no cultural baggage required).
Versant Sud works with peers for administrative and logistical support for residencies, exhibitions or artistic performances.