MUSEUMS’ BRIDGES: RUSSIA-FRANCE. INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM EXCHANGE PROGRAM. POST-RELEASE
MUSEUMS’ BRIDGES: RUSSIA-FRANCE
INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Contemporary Art, Traditional Museum and Cultural Heritage – Mutual Influence and Interaction
January 30 января – February 4, 2017
Saint-Petersburg – Yekaterinburg – Perm – Moscow
Museum experts from France have recently finished their visit to St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Perm and Moscow as part of the International Museum Exchange Program run by the Vladimir Potanin Charity Foundation. The program is developed by the Potanin Foundation and the French Institute (Institute Francais) in Russia in collaboration with the St. Petersburg PRO ARTE Foundation. This year’s training program was titled Contemporary Art, Traditional Museum and Cultural Heritage - Mutual Influence and Interaction.
Experts from five museums (located in Paris, Oiron, Bruère-Allichamps and Calasi) spent a week from January 30 till February 4 getting to know various Russian museums, meeting with their colleagues and discussing ways to integrate contemporary art into historical context working with cultural heritage sites and objects and within architectural and historical monuments.
The Museums’ Bridges Russian-French cultural exchange program started with a meeting at the Manezh exhibiton hall, where Russian and French museum experts shared their experiences telling about their museums and the projects that involve contemporary art. The French ‘team’ featured Claude d'Anthenaise, director of the Museum of Hunting and Nature (Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature); Mélanie Bouteloup, director and co-founder of the Bétonsalon Contemporary Art Center in Paris; Paul Fournier, head of the Noirlac Abbey (L'Abbaye de Noirlac) cultural center in Bruère-Allichamps; Carine Guimbard, director at Château d'Oiron and Anne-Claire Laronde, director of the Lace and Fashion Museum in Calais.
The host’s party was represented by the State Museum-Reserve Kulikovo Pole (Tula), Tomsk local history museum named after Shatilov (Tomsk), Non-Conformist Art Museum (St. Petersburg), Ice-breaker “Krasin” – St. Petersburg branch of the Museum of the World Ocean and Anna Akhmatova Museum at the Fountain House (St. Petersburg). Russian colleagues presented their museums and shared their experiences of working with contemporary artists. Irina Kiryukhina (Kulikovo Pole museum) and Anna Polyakova (Tomsk, Shatilov Museum) both members of the Russian Museums’ Bridges group that has previously visited France.
The presentations were followed by an open round-table discussion. French and Russian participants shared their experiences in creating and developing art-residency projects, discussed educational programs and resources museums need to develop these programs; they also voiced their suggestions concerning current challenges that museums face and how to deal with them. One of the key issues that concern museums all over the world is how to combine research and educational activities of a museum with a need to develop commercial programs.
During their stay in St.Petersburg French museum experts visited the General Staff Building of the State Hermitage Museum getting to know the work carried out at the Research and Educational Center (with Youth Educational Center as a part of it) and the Department of Contempoary Art. Their program also included visits to Anikushin Studio (branch of the State Museum of Urban Sculpture) and the New Holland island. French and Russian colleagues discussed advantages and challenges of working with contemporary art in the environments that initially have nothing to do with it. Guests from France also had a chance to see Appearances. More than Reality exhibition at the Museum of Music (Sheremetev Palace, branch of the State Museum of Theater and Music).
After St. Petersburg the party divided: Claude d'Anthenaise, director of the Museum of Hunting and Nature and Carine Guimbard, director at Château d'Oiron set off to Yekaterinburg, while Mélanie Bouteloup, director of the Bétonsalon Contemporary Art Center and Anne-Claire Laronde, director of the Calais Lace and Fashion Museum went to Perm. In Yekaterinburg and Perm programs for the French museum experts were arranged by the Russian participants of the Museums’ Bridges program: Alisa Prudnikove, director of the NCCA Ural branch, and Yulia Glazyrina, head of the Department of Nature at the Perm local history museum. In Yekaterinburg the participants visited local NCCA Center, Museum of Fine Arts, contemporary art galleries and Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center Museum; they also took a tour of local constructivist architecture sites. Perm program featured Perm local history museum (Meshkov House and and Museum of Perm Antiquities), Perm State Art Gallery and PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art. In both cities French museum expert had a chance to meet the local museum community and talked about developing educational programs for temporary exhibitions and permanent displays, creating joint projects with university research centers, managing art residency programs. Many participants were also eager to share their views on how museums can work on the local level triggering creativity, involving local communities and promoting contemporary art.
French museum experts concluded their Russian program in Moscow with a reception at the Institute Fransais, where they met with Olvier Guillaume, Cultural Counsellor to the French Embassy in Russia, and Oksana Oratcheva, Director General of the Potanin Foundation; the meeting was attended by journalists from field-specific media.
The sites participants visited in Moscow included WINZAVOD Center for Contemporay Art, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), Multimedia Art Museum. Each museum offered a tour and a meeting with museum staff; like in other cities French and Russian colleagues held discussions about how to display contemporary art in historical context, reasoned how to work with various audiences and run educational and residency programs.
During the program's final session at the MMOMA the participants met with Irna Lapidus, Program Director at the Potanin Foundation, and shared their impressions. They emphasized the importance of visiting local museums and learning about how smaller museums operate. Museum experts from France were impressed by their Russian colleagues being energetic and resourceful when working with archives and museum collections; they also mentioned educational projects that make contemporary art projects more accessible for wider audiences. An opportunity to develop joint projects was another positive outcome of the project. Anne-Claire Laronde told of the project Calais Lace and Fashion Museum had been working on together with the National Museum of Applied and Folk Art, and of the possible collaboration with the State Museum of Theater and Music she had a chance to discuss in St. Petersburg. Mélanie Bouteloup, director of the Contemporary Art Center was particularly interested in working with archives – she had discussed this topic with the Multimedia Art Museum and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Program participants are willing to invite Russian curators and museum experts they met during their visit to join a dialogue on working with archives, collections and residency programs.
The Museums’ Bridges program aims to promote and help to apply new professional standards and innovative approaches to museum activity providing favorable conditions for experience and technologies exchange, strengthening links in the museum professionals’ community, developing cooperation and partnership relations within international museum community.