Alain Lombard, the new head of the Collection Lambert

A graduate of the French administration school ENA, he was previously secretary general of the Villa Médicis, a cultural attaché in Budapest, but also general administrator for the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie… His name ? Alain Lombard, who this year takes over from Éric Mézil at the helm of the Collection Lambert. An encounter in Avignon.   The news was released on 5 February this year… Éric Mézil, who had directed the Collection Lambert since 2000, would be handing over his position to Alain Lombard. After working for 17 years alongside dealer Yvon Lambert, Éric Mézil has left an enduring print on the Avignon cultural landscape, marked by ambitious programming. We remember of course his big solo exhibitions: Cy Twombly in 2007, Miquel Barceló in 2010, Andres Serrano in 2016, or more surprisingly, the outside-the-walls show, in 2014, in the former Sainte-Anne prison, titled “La Disparition des lucioles”. Now at the helm, Alain Lombard has taken on the mission of bringing life to this extraordinary contemporary-art collection… Indeed, the Collection Lambert, born in 2000 in Avignon, is quite a special museum. The works owned by art dealer and collector Yvon Lambert were long stored in the Hôtel de Caumont, and the donation of over 550 works to the French State only became official in July 2012. Now housed in two eighteenth-century townhouses – after the addition of the Hôtel de Montfaucon to the project –, the Collection Lambert offers a selection of major works from the second half of the 20th century and the start of the 21st century.   Can you tell us about your background? I had the fortune to be able to choose to join the French Ministry of Culture when I graduated from the ENA, and I’ve worked there since 1982, in...

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Collection Lambert’s exhibition behind bars

Until 25 November 2014, Collection Lambert in Avignon presents the exhibition “The Disappearance of the Fireflies” — a title inspired from an article of the same name by Pier Paolo Pasolini, written in 1975, in which the author deplores the end of an era.  The exhibition is not taking place at the Collection’s usual site, but in the Sainte-Anne Prison, located just behind the Papal Palace. The original building has been closed until summer 2015 for renovations and the installation of a gift of 556 works belonging to the collection of Yvon Lambert. Disused for almost ten years, the Sainte-Anne Prison offers an original setting for works by Kiki Smith, Xavier Veilhan and Andy Warhol. These pieces, which explore the themes of imprisonment, solitude and love, come from the private collection of Enea Righi, as well as other private and public...

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Announcement of the dates of Forum Avignon 2013

Avignon, 30 March 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Forum Avignon 2013 has announced the dates and themes of its 2013 edition. The event will be held from 21 to 23 November 2013. Around the theme “the powers of culture,” the debates will deal with cultural politics. Through concrete and current topics, such as the Google agreement with French publishers engaging the company to pay a sum of €60m, the springing up of museums and concert halls built with private funds, the austerity budgets that lead to the reduction of cultural budgets in Europe, and the increase – a contrario – by more than 23% of cultural expenditures in China, the investments of countries like the Middle East in culture as a growth relay in compensation for the drying up of the Black Gold, and the access to cultural contents in Africa and in India that is becoming more difficult with digitalisation, should these be interpreted as a political change in regards to culture? With 6.1% of the world GDP, a turnover of about $2,700bn, 4% of the European Union’s GDP, and 8 million direct employments, the forum’s participants will deal with concrete questions regarding the role of governments and will try and explain who should be in charge of cultural power: citizens, creators, producers, distributors, or politicians? Are personal cultural data a new advantage for power? Who draws the new map of power? Who really benefits from culture? Six big debates, six studies and some concrete suggestions will be put on the table on the occasion of this sixth...

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Forum of Avignon 2012 draws its conclusions

Avignon, 19 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). The 5th edition of the Forum of Avignon came to three main conclusions: culture is an economical asset, individual and collective support should be reinforced, culture should be put in the centre of European projects. For Aurélie Filippetti, culture “should be placed at the very centre of economical increase and recovery of our country”.  It was neglected for too long and now the time has come to transform it into an asset, for both France and the European Union. For “without strengthening up the culture, economical recovery is not possible”. The Minister, in her plea to justify the State’s participation in the culture, as the official press release indicates, made important announcements: “launch of a linked mission between IGAC (Inspection générale des Affaires culturelles-General Inspectorate of Cultural Affairs) and IGF (Inspection générale des finances-General Inspectorate of Finance) concerning the methodology and prognosis of the impact of culture’s economy in France, introduction of a law of orientation for the creation, numerous measures to support enterprises from the culture sector, status of JEI (Jeune Entreprise Innovante-Young Innovative Enterprise) for the video games producers, support of arts sponsorship which should not be considered as a palliative remedy but as the citizens’ involvement, based on the “Code of Ethics”. By the end of the forum, culture appeared as a hope, a remedy against resurgence of fanaticism in the world. Cultural diversity is a value which should be defended. Contrary to what some people think, “digital potential of digital generations is an opportunity”. However, it is necessary to draw a line for “creativity is not a creation and not all creations are culture”. Integration of new technologies in the process of creation and defending culture is, with no doubt, a great value. Finally, in this troubling...

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Forum d’Avignon 2012

Avignon (France), 16 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). The 2012 edition of the Forum d’Avignon started on 15 November and will run through 17 November 2012. This laboratory of ideas is willing to explore “not only economic and heritage dimensions of culture, but also its role in creating social cohesion and generating jobs, based on field experience and innovation”. On occasion of this 2012 edition, the Forum d’Avignon organises international meetings between the players of the cultural field, economy and the media. It offers reflection tracks, releases studies and gives an account of the best achievements on a local, national and international scale. The Forum d’Avignon was created after the UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and has been supported ever since by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Sponsored by various partnerships and patrons, the forum is intended to be “a definitely international and multidisciplinary event, combining debates and artistic performances”. The point is to give an account of the cultural state of the world, on an artistic, economic and media point of view. Among the leading themes and debates of the forum this year, L’Atelier will focus on culture and cultural contents as they are received by the digital generation. Ernst & Young will stress the notion of transmission and memory in a world led by...

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