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Mécènes du Sud

16/08/2021

WHEN COMPANIES CO-PRODUCE CONTEMPORARY ART:

Eric Chaveau was one of the founders of this network which builds bridges between companies in the South of France and artists. Each year, these corporate groups co-produce works, projects and events. It is a rewarding process for both parties and a means of creating a virtuous circle of developing local heritage.
“Mécènes du Sud was founded with the will to foster the contemporary art scene, to raise awareness around it, but also to enable young artists to get down to business,” states Eric Chaveau. The network was created in 2003 with an initial group of companies from Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. A second group then covered the territories of Montpellier-Sète. In addition to co-producing the winning works, the network offers a program of exhibitions at its dedicated site in Montpellier and artist residencies within companies. Companies with a little more soul “In France, more than elsewhere, there was a barrier between the economic world and culture. We sought a way to bring these two worlds together. Pébéo is a company that is both international and rooted in its region. If you want to energise and foster the region, you must boost it in all its magnitude, including artistic ones. "When the network was created, the 8 founding companies had to convince. They were pioneers. Today, featuring 45 member companies, Mécènes du Sud has proven the furtherance of such an approach. “Companies that host artists in residence have a little more soul! ." Outside of the box, one of the network's stated goals is to free companies from the standardised framework of their activity by making contact with art. For Pébéo, it is also an approach of opening up, since conceptual art is predominant among the winning projects. “This enables us to open up to other forms of artistic expression, to go beyond painting, while remaining in the visual arts. In 2013, while Marseille was appointed European Capital of Culture, Pébéo hosted in residence, for 6 months, the artist photographer Marie Angeletti. "We discover artists, we have real hits" explains Patricia Chaveau, communications director. This was specifically the case with the work on memory by the visual artist and video artist Rebecca Digne, winner in 2020. Patronage brings forth a meaningful encounter...

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