Frac île-de-france (FRAC = Regional collection of contemporary art) is committed to supporting contemporary artistic creation and promoting access to art in three complementary ways:
- Enrichment and dissemination of its collection, mainly within the region
- A program of exhibitions and events at Le Plateau, Les Réserves and off-site
- Mediation initiatives for all audiences
The Frac Île-de-France’s new project, driven by Céline Poulin, appointed Director in May 2023, responds to the challenges of today’s world, the needs of the art world and the needs of the Ile-de-France region. To achieve this, the programming de-hierarchizes practices, exhibition spaces and geographical areas, and places its users at the center of exhibitions, creation and the collection. On the one hand, by drawing on the specificity of the Frac Île-de-France, a multi-site structure, which enables it to be deployed on different “platforms”, at Le Plateau in Paris, Les Réserves in Romainville, in high schools and at a network of partners in the cultural, associative and medico-social fields. On the other hand, by promoting co-creation, amateur practice and direct encounters with the artist, while opening the collection up to participation, in line with cultural rights and popular education.
Feeling welcomed, authorized to walk through the door, is the main challenge of such a structure. The exhibition model is evolving to make the Frac Île-de-France a true place of life and research, focusing above all on exchange, educational practice and support for young artists.
All programming is intended to be a shared, polyphonic story, co-constructed with teams, artists, partners and audiences, based on their use, sharing and respect for resources.
Open to the diversity of contemporary artistic practices, the Frac Île-de-France collection, comprising over 2,100 works, is now developing along four lines:
→ Acquiring works from collaborative and socially engaged practices: strongly developed in France and abroad, these practices represent a challenge to a conception of the work centered on a single author and a finished object, but are fundamental to contemporary artistic issues.
→ Equip ourselves with practicable works or works of use: protocols to be activated, furniture, coffee machines, video games, board games: contemporary practices increasingly include the public in their uses or their realization.
→ Develop the video collection: a recent medium, particularly innovative and rapidly evolving, whose adaptability is highly conducive to dissemination and whose address is particularly relevant for the Frac.
→ Develop the acquisition of emerging practices in Île-de-France, where the artistic pool is abundant, in order to support young creation.
Experimentation, production, co-creation and support for contemporary creation
Le Plateau – an exhibition space inaugurated in 2002 on the initiative of local residents to redirect a residential construction program in this district of Paris’s 19th arrondissement – is a key venue for contemporary art in France.
8 exhibitions a year are organized at Le Plateau:
→ A solo or duo exhibition, engaged with audiences and societal issues
→ A territorial, transdisciplinary and transhistorical group show, with a component also presented at Les Réserves and also available outside the walls
→ Six Project Room exhibitions in the last room of Le Plateau. The Project Room, the Frac’s new prospective and experimental space, offers the opportunity to present research, diploma, grant and residency projects to French and foreign artists, preferably from the Paris region, but not exclusively. This reactive and flexible programming is built in dialogue with the essential structures supporting creation, and particularly young creation, but also with art schools and universities in the Paris region or abroad.
Le Plateau now has a new free practice space to integrate amateur uses of the space, and also offers a full program of events, meetings, performances and workshops.
Preserving and activating the collection, bringing it into dialogue with the emerging scene and opening it up to participation
In 2021, the Frac Île-de-France moved into a new building in Romainville, the main purpose of which is to house its collection. A total of 1,600 m2 will be devoted to the conservation and management of works, to optimize their dissemination throughout the Île-de-France region. The new building showcases the work carried out with and around the collection, from the works that make it up to all the related professions in terms of conservation, management and distribution of the collection.
The Reserves also offer 450m2 of exhibition space open to the public and feature 3 exhibitions a year:
→ An exhibition creating collection narratives, in dialogue with contemporary issues by inviting outside artists and curators.
→ A transdisciplinary and transhistorical territorial exhibition (with a component presented at Le Plateau and also declined outside the walls).
→ One or more exhibitions of the collection by groups, particularly amateur groups
→ A program of events, encounters, performances and workshops in a new dedicated space.
Co-construction, artists’ presence and long-term work with local partners
The collection is distributed in a wide range of partner venues throughout the Paris region, as well as in France and abroad, including heritage sites, associations, public spaces in partnership with local authorities, institutional venues not dedicated to the visual arts, and schools, where it is directly confronted with the works (the Flash Collection touring exhibition is a unique opportunity for high-school students to discover contemporary art with the works in the schools themselves), notably with the active participation of the artists.
Each year, the regional project combines works from the collection with other works around a theme interpreted, depending on the context, by guest curators throughout the Paris region.
Our outreach activities – in conjunction with the Public Relations Department – are designed to offer a comprehensive program for all audiences. These include long-term partnerships, with a presence of the collection in schools and universities, as well as proposals tailored to each audience at the Plateau, in the Reserves and outside the walls, for a sensitive approach to the works through exchange and dialogue.
To bring the relationship with art to life, free practice areas for independent experimentation have been set up in the Réserves and Plateau, as close as possible to the works, making the public real users.
Addressing all audiences also means continuing to improve conditions of accessibility and inclusiveness, inside and outside the walls, with the introduction of new tools and the design of actions in partnership with the medico-social field.
Finally, as part of this commitment to participation, a new project entitled Une Collection partagée (A Shared Collection) involves a group of high school students in the selection of works proposed to the Frac’s acquisition committee.
Funded by the Ile-de-France Region, the State and the City of Paris, the Frac Ile-de-France is an associated organization of the Ile-de-France Region, governed by the 2016 law on creative freedom, and by the 2017 decree and order relating to the Frac label.
It is a member of the Platform network, TRAM, le Grand Belleville and BLA! networks.