Rima Abdul-Malak, Minister of Culture, and Valérie Pécresse, President of the Île-de-France Region, have approved the appointment of Céline Poulin as Director of the Fonds régional d’art contemporain d’Île-de-France, in full agreement with Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.
Céline Poulin is vice-president of DCA, the French association for the development of contemporary art centres and has been director of the CAC Brétigny since 2016. She developed a programme there that engages artists, theoreticians and amateurs as real users of the space. Notably, she presented the first exhibitions in France of Liz Magic Laser, Hélène Bertin, Florian Sumi and Núria Güell.
Céline Poulin studied philosophy and is an independent curator and art critic. She was previously responsible for the off-site programme at Parc Saint-Léger and was guest curator at the DAZ in Berlin in partnership with the Institut français and with Le Bureau collective at the Villa du Parc in Annemasse, at the Synagogue de Delme and the Casino Luxembourg – Forum art contemporain, among others. She is also a member of the IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art).
Céline Poulin graduated from the University of Paris X-Nanterre with a Master in “Exhibition Arts”, from the Department of Sociology, Paris Vll-Paris Diderot, as well as a Master in “Conception and Implementation of Cultural Projects” and from the University of Paris l, Panthéon-Sorbonne and with a Master of Arts in Philosophy “Crisis of reason and foundations of modern thought”.
Céline Poulin impressed the jury with the ambition, generosity and quality of her proposal entitled Mille et un plateaux (A Thousand and One Plateaus) for the Frac Île-de-France. Her professional experience, her ability to impart, her high demands on sharing artistic experience, all reflect a proposal whose deliberately multi-faceted approach indicates a deep commitment to the service of creation and its dissemination, combining sharing, proximity and hospitality.
Céline Poulin succeeds Xavier Franceschi, whose commitment as director of the Frac Île-de-France for sixteen years has been praised by the Minister of Culture. He has successfully developed the collection, revitalised the exhibition policy, opened it up to all audiences and asserted its regional roots.
(Press release from Minister of Culture)
Céline Poulin has been the director of the CAC Brétigny since June 2016. Her projects for the art centre, as well as her previous programmes and exhibitions, have shown particular emphasis on reception, collaboration, information and communication. At the CAC Brétigny, she implemented a project inspired by popular education theories, based on the uses of the space, including in the artistic programme all the activities of the art centre, from communication to production and mediation. In this context, she invited the graphic artists Charles Mazé & Coline Sunier to a residency, led the group exhibitions The Real Show, Vocales and Desk Set, as well as the first solo exhibitions in France of Liz Magic Laser, Núria Güell, Hélène Bertin, Sébastien Rémy and Sara Sadik, and implemented ELGER, with Fanny Lallart, and the Ǝcole, with the art centre’s team.
Before beginning to work as a freelance curator in 2004, Céline Poulin was responsible for the youth department of BD BOUM, a comic book festival affiliated with the Ligue de l’enseignement, a national network for popular education. She has also worked in institutions such as Parc Saint Léger (Pougues-les-Eaux) and the Crédac (Ivry-sur-Seine). Céline Poulin conducts theoretical and practical research on co-creation, practices engaged in the social sector and connections between art and popular education. From 2015 to 2018, she co-directed, with Marie Preston and in collaboration with Stéphanie Airaud, the travelling seminar “Legacies and modalities of co-creation artistic practices”. This work was a continuation of Micro-Seminar (2013), in which she theorised curatorial practices beyond dedicated spaces, and gave rise to the publication Co-Creation, published by Empire and the CAC Brétigny. In 2021, the CAC Brétigny and Tombolo Presses published Inventer l’école, penser la co-création by Marie Preston, which she edited with the artist. Céline Poulin is a co-founding member of the curatorial research collective Bureau/, which has held a dozen exhibitions in France and abroad.
Her vision for the Frac Île-de-France called Mille et un plateaux is based on several principles that respond to the challenges of today’s world, the needs of art and the needs of the Ile-de-France region: to give priority to the living, to work in co-creation, to practice horizontality, and to encourage the sharing of knowledge, skills and resources.
To do this, it will be necessary to de-hierarchise the exhibition spaces and the geographical areas. Indeed, the unique feature of the Frac Île-de-France is that it has several sites. It is deployed on various “plateaus”, in Paris, Romainville, high schools and elsewhere in France and internationally. Mille et un plateaux sets out the equality of these exhibition spaces and the desire to diversify the locations even further, including heritage sites.
On the other hand, it is fundamental to put the users of the Frac at the centre of the exhibitions, the creation and the collection. To feel welcomed and to be allowed to walk through the door is the main challenge of such a structure. This is why co-creation and direct contact with artists will take precedence, and the collection will open itself to participation, in line with cultural rights and public education.
Lastly, it is vital today to prioritise living and community. The exhibition model will evolve to make the Frac Île-de-France a real place of life. Mille et un plateaux will focus above all on meetings, events, amateur practice and support for young artists. All programming will be a shared story, co-constructed with the teams, partners and audiences, based on their uses, the pooling of and respect of resources.
Céline Poulin will take up her position at the Frac Île-de-France at the beginning of May.