The artistic programm is highly considering a respecfull and rigorous approach that aim to root art projects within the local context. To give artists the best work environment adapted to this requirements, the CAIRN, art center is welcoming artists on differents periods of time flexible and extended : the artist comes back several times, according to his/her project. An accomadation and a working studio is at the artist disposal for the time of their residency. It is located in the park of the Musée Promenade, nearby the art center.
The strong dialogue between art and science built the history and geography of the site and is highlighted in the Gassendi museum collection. This is what piqued curiosity and mind of artists interested in interactions between nature, culture and contemporary society (Mark Dion, Paul Armand Gette, Joan Fontcuberta).
For younger artits, this place has been the springboard for new artistic horizons that led them further (Abraham Poincheval, Delphine Gigoux Martin).
Research Residencies : A call for application is open to all profesional artists from all over the world is released every year around july, proposing a reasearch grant for 6 weeks residency between winter/spring.
Ongoing residencies :
• Sylvain Gouraud 2019
Sylvain Gouraud is a photographer. He Immerses himself into environment where representation issues are playing an essential part. Alongside social circles that lack representation, he questions what makes the identity of a migrant without a land, a patient in psychiatry or a prisoner from the Fleury Merogis jail. Every time the picture bring controversy.
« I have been going up to the mountains above Digne for several years now. I often visit the valley of Estoublaisse behind Montdenier. The place is hard to reach, isolated, it requires to go up the track for 45 minutes from Saint-Jurs, powerlines stop well before the shelter where I can spend few days on site. The view point is stunning, without any construction as far as eyes can see, the creek Estoublaisse, the forest of Levans and Guichard transform themselves into the grasslands of Montdenier and into the Rocks with a sheer of the Chiran. We meet a multitude of animals and flowers, a truly natural area. Natural? What on earth does that mean? Trees? They have been planted in the 60’s to « hold » the mountain, Frederic Serre from the ‘ONF’ is now looking for to help deciduous trees recover some of the lost ground. The creek? It is maintained by the fishing society which cultivate its fry in it. And so the grasslands? They only exist because Alain, the shepherd makes his ewes preventing the blackthorn to grow back on this land. This landscape which looks to us empty and wild when we arrive in the valley is in fact inhabited by multiple human and non-human souls, who participate each one in its interest to shape this landscape. Can one talk about an artificial landscape?
This distinction between natural and artificial is poorly stated, it does not allow us to understand the world we live in. To emerge from that « modern » vision, we need to describe it another way, with other codes, from another perspective. »
• Lara Almarcegui : spring 2018-2019
Lara Almarcegui was born in 1972 in Saragosse, Spain. She lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The work that she develops for more than twenty years explores the demarcation lines between the renewal and the decline of cities. She tries to highlight the urban elements that most of the time we don’t see. In one hand, Lara Almarcegui take a deep interest into abandoned urban spaces, suburbans areas and areas under construction and development. One the other hand, she tries to understand the interconnection between urbanism and architecture. Lara Almarcegui represented Spain at the 55e Biennale Arte of Venice, 2017, and at the Biennal Arte of Lyon, 2017.
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Lara Almarcegui, 55th Venice Biennale, Spanish Pavilion, 2013
• Alessandro Quaranta (2017-2018)
Alessandro Quaranta is born in Turin, Italy, in 1975.
His work has been shown at GAM (Museum of Modern Art of Turin – 2014 / FSRR (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo) – Autograph ABP (London, (UK) 2012 / Lousiana Museum of Modern Art (DK), 2011 /PAV (Turin), CESAC (Caraglio, IT) 2010 / Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Caracas, Venezuela) 2009 / DOCVA, CareOF (Milan) 2008. He participated at the Triennale 2014 du Valais (CH) – the X Biennale de Lyon (FR) 2009.
“ The time spent in Cairn helped me to focus more clearly and precisely on what my attitude leads to. The spectral silence noticed in the wintry landscape, perceived through my walks in the neighbourhood of Digne, had wakened me an ancestral need to restore an utopian attitude to recover a way of communication of human beings with animals on different levels of language. My aim is to realize a short film as a result of this research.”