“NIcolas Bourriaud”

Protests after Nicolas Bourriaud’s Dismissal

The French Ministry of Culture announced the ousting of Nicolas Bourriaud Officer of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris (ENSBA) on July 2nd , 2015. Since then, a feeling of disbelief has been expressed through multiple protests against the decision of Minister Fleur Pellerin, both internationally and in France. The National Association of Directors of Art Schools (ANDEA) describes this measure as “outrageous, unjust and irresponsible” while on social networks, a petition set up by students of the ENSBA was circulated. Among Fleur Pellerin’s complaints against the former director, is the is the resistance to make the institution more “internationally influential”, with Nicolas Bourriaud defending himself in an interview given to Télérama, recalling collaborations with various schools in Tokyo, Beijing, Buenos Aires, and Reykjavik. ANDEA also supports the open door policy – as well within the international market – led by Nicolas Bourriaud. For its part, the Committee of Professional Galleries said in a statement: “All the players in the world of contemporary art today are disadvantaged by this decision.” As for the possibility for the director of the Villa Medici, Eric de Chassey to retrieve the post, the Ministry of Culture denies any favoritism through the eviction of Nicolas Bourriaud. Le Canard Enchaîné propagated the rumor that Eric de Chassey had gained access to the position thanks to his proximity to actress Julie Gayet. Nicolas Bourriaud, born in 1965, is a historian and art critic. He co-led the Palais de Tokyo with Jérôme Sans, until 2006, in Paris, before taking up the post as Gulbenkian curator for contemporary art at the Tate Britain until 2010. That same year, he assumed the functions as Head of Inspection of artistic creation to the Ministry of Culture. He was appointed director of the National School of Fine Arts in...

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Fleur Pellerin dismisses Director of the National School of Fine Arts, Paris

On 2 July 2015, French Minister of Culture and Communication Fleur Pellerin dismissed the Director of the National School of Fine Arts in Paris Nicolas Bourriaud. Fleur Pellerin fired Bourriaud after a 45-minute-long meeting, where she justified the dismissal by saying that she had a “change of direction” in mind. After their meeting, Bourriaud posted a message on his Facebook page, stating that “not a single factual argument” was mentioned by the Minister during their exchange. According to certain sources — including the journalist Roxana Azimi —, and despite the launch of a call for applications by the school, Bourriaud is to be replaced by Éric de Chassey, current Director of Villa Médicis. These same sources claim that the potential nomination could be linked to the fact that Chassey is approaching the end of his contract at the Villa Médicis, and his close relationship with Julie Gayet, French President François Hollande’s alleged companion. Indeed, actress Anne Consigny, wife of Éric de Chassey, is one of Julie Gayet’s close friends. Some people in the art world, like Stéphane Corréard, have refuted the information, claiming it is defamatory and inexact. Born in 1965, Nicolas Bourriaud is an art historian, critic and curator. From 2000 to 2006, he co-founded and co-directed the Palais de Tokyo in Paris with Jérôme Sans before being appointed as the Gulbenkian curator for contemporary art at the Tate Britain from 2008 to 2010. He ran the National School of Fine Arts in Paris...

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Art in the 90s: Relational aesthetics

Nicolas Bourriaud’s recent dismissal from the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (ENSBA) in Paris, France, has caused a worldwide sensation. First of all, because of ENSBA’s long-standing status as the most prestigious art school in France, but especially because of Bourriaud’s exceptional career, during which he has cofounded the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), served as curator at the Tate (London), and has worked as a critic and essayist, for which he is probably the most renowned. After publishing his book Esthétique relationnelle (Relational Aesthetics) in 1998, Bourriaud has gained international recognition. Today, despite other essays he has written, such as Radicant (2008), for example, he remains strongly associated with the concept of “relational aesthetics”. As part of its special summer edition, Art Media Agency is offering you a glimpse of the 1990s, focusing on the universe of relational aesthetics, and the direction it might take in the future. Early 1990s: diversity of form, absence of theory Esthétique relationnelle appeared in 1998. It is not exactly considered as an essay, but more as a collection of articles written by Nicolas Bourriaud for Documents sur l’Art, a magazine he cofounded in 1992. Through this collection of articles, Bourriaud wished to shed light on the artistic practices that were at that time considered to be disparate, formless, and unclassifiable, but above all, deprived of theoretical discourse — if not that of the “aesthetics of communication” developed by Mario Costa (in 1983), who was interested in our perception of time, space, and the other in the information era following the performances of Fred Forest. In the 1990s, critics wondered which speech to adopt in order to sanction the artistic practices that arised during their epoch. They tried to find a way to link Rirkrit Tiravanija — who once organised a dinner at one of her collectors’ house by...

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Nicolas Bourriaud, director of ENSBA, the subject of debate

After three years as the director of Paris’s École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), Nicolas Bourriaud has struggled to gain the unanimous support of the establishment’s academic community. In May 2014, 14 teachers — out of a total of 19 — and a group of students from the administrative board wrote a letter to Aurélie Filippetti, France’s Minister for Culture and Communication. The aim of the document was to oppose the proposed dismissal of three senior members of staff at ENSBA; a decision announced by Nicolas Bourriaud at the board meeting on 20 May. The three members concerned are Frédéric Jousset, president of the administrative board; Gaïta Leboissetier, director of studies; and Thierry Jopeck, director general. This latest imbroglio comes as an additional hindrance during an already-tense period for the school, as tensions rise between students and professors concerning decisions made by Bourriaud. Most recently, protests were made at the — apparently unilateral — decision for ENSBA to take part in Paris’s CHOICES weekend; a decision viewed by the students as a marketing opportunity and one which was “hidden” from students by the school’s administration. This disagreement prompted several peaceful student demonstrations, as well as banners at the school’s entrance. Previously, in October 2013, students protested against a private event for Ralph Lauren held in ENSBA, which prevented access to fourteen studios over the course of several days, just prior to exams. In spite of these events, Nicolas Bourriaud has gained the support of numerous figures on the art market. A petition in his favour has been signed by more than 400 people, including Daniel Buren, Ami Barak and Hou Hanru. With such divided opinions, it will be up to France’s Minister for Culture and Communication to take the final decision on the...

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Nicolas Bourriaud to curate Taipei Biennale

Taipei, 23 January 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). Taipei Fine Arts Museum has named Nicolas Bourriaud as the curator of the 2014 Taipei Biennale. Born in 1965, Nicolas Bourriaud is currently Director of Paris’s Ecole des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), and is considered to be one of the Western world’s most influential art critics: his Esthétique relationnelle has been published in 12 languages. Bourriand founded the Palais de Tokyo (a centre for contemporary art in Paris) with Jérôme Sands, serving as the institution’s co-director between 1999 and 2006.  The 9th edition of the Taipei Biennale is to take place from 13 September 2014 to 4 January...

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