Les Nouveaux commanditaires

Nya Uppdragsgivare
Nuovi Committenti
Nuevos Comanditarios
Taiteen Uudet Tukijat
De Nieuwe Opdrachtgevers
New Patrons
Die Neue Auftraggeber
Komanditario berriak


Since the Renaissance, art has formed a political ambition of extraordinary audacity: the invention of individuality. Now that conditions are ripe, art can help shape a second ambition continuing on from the first: constructing a democracy.

Democracy's ideal would be that no one is just the spectator or reject of a story they don't feel part of any longer, and instead everyone is able to become a fully-fledged player, as a citizen. Such an ideal poses a daily fundamental question: how can one create a common world with individuals who have become free and equal, with different conceptions et convictions ?

The aim of the Nouveaux Commanditaires protocol is to take on this challenge by opening a new chapter in the history of art. Over two centuries after the democratic revolutions, citizens still remain the great absentee from the art scene even though this is the terrain where they could freely exert, test and solve their fundamental cultural needs. It is also there that one creates and experiments, for their benefit, new types of relations to oneself and to others, to time and to the environment.

While artists and their artworks have taken on all their responsibilities to the extent that they have become paragons of the Modernist ambition, society has turned instead to artworks from the past by giving heritage more importance than it has ever had in history. Citizens remain absent and silent in art. They seem satisfied with anonymous relations with artists and limit artworks to having a role within a heritage that is managed by markets and institutions whose criteria and values could not stem from a political, let alone artistic project.

In order to give a voice to these great absentees and enable them to finally play a role, the actions of the Nouveaux Commanditaires take place on the art scene without walls. This can occur anywhere and is open to those who wish to take on a responsibility as an active player. In these situations, the citizen becomes an equal to the artist and acquires the authority to publicly express a need to create as well as to assess what is produced in the name of art. This mode of action has long gone beyond a mere declaration of intention, it is a tangible reality with hundreds of accomplished artworks. These reflect and demonstrate the fact that both citizens and artists have  the intelligence and the courage necessary to highlight contemporary cultural necessities and act in consequence.

In this new scene, the relations between each party are governed by a protocol that defines everyone's role and relies on trust to reach agreements rather than acts of authority and regulations. In order to give rise to an art of democracy, each player needs to take on their own responsibilities, and bring a communal, rather than just private, meaning to their individual commitment as well as to the artwork.

François Hers