France’s Ambassador to Germany, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, inaugurated a new fund for artistic and architectural exchange last Thursday at a reception in the French embassy to celebrate the country’s artists participating in the eighth Berlin Biennale. Called Perspektive, the fund will award grants to a wide variety of art institutions on a twice-yearly basis. Those projects and venues will be selected by a Franco-German committee, which will be announced this fall.
Initiated by the Bureau des arts plastiques of the Institut français Germany and the French Embassy, Perspektive, represents a fairly unusual arrangement for Continental European arts funding. Though secured with a back-up fund of €30,000, the lion’s share of the annual budget will be derived from private individuals and corporations. It is based largely on a similar program, Fluxus, initiated by the French embassy in London.
Projects already initiated through Perspektive include the ongoing French-German curatorial exchange, Jeunes Commissaires, and a collaboration with the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkust Leipzig.
The program follows previous collaborative efforts by the two countries such as the Berlin/Paris gallery exchange. That exchange, which ran from 2010-2012 invited seven galleries and two independent art spaces (it its final edition) to trade spaces for one exhibition per year. The Institut français Germany also supports an ongoing collector exchange between the two countries, centered on Art Berlin Contemporary and Paris’ FIAC.
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