AAJ Press
Art & Public Space, Art Projects, Commissions, Commissions & Projects

France: Eternal Network, Tours. An AAJ Press series on art organisations and commissioning.

France: Eternal Network, Tours. New Patrons / Les Nouveaux Commanditaires.

Established in 1999 in Tours, France, Eternal Network, is partner within the New Patrons / Les Nouveaux Commanditaires network, implements and organises artistic projects for public space involving urban development, new ways for social development, the process of learning and knowledge sharing, or even the understanding of memory and its implications on identity. The role of Eternal Network is to develop partnerships and collaborations with other public and private organisations, connecting these societal and cultural concerns with contemporary art related institutions. The role of mediators, is to facilitate artistic creation as the liaison between the artist and the citizen-patrons who commission the artwork is a central part of the commissioning process.

Les Nuits Noires, Tours. In The Dark Nights project a group of artists from different ethnic backgrounds presented ideas about Africa and about themselves. The artworks are a political manifesto and the exhibition talks about  the imbalanced economy and cultural idiosyncrasies of the post-colonial world. The exhibition had an educational aspect, organized in partnership with the Lycee Descartes. The pupils created a graphic intervention in the space on the representation of black and white, as a guide the visitors, supported by printed information.

Artists: Eija Liisa Ahtila, Alfredo Jaar, Olivier Leroi, Claire-Lise Petitjean, Anri Sala, Pascale Marthine Tayou; Curator : Eric Foucault; Mediator: Eternal Network; Supporters: DRAC of the Région Centre, The City of Tours, the Council of Indre-et-Loire, the lycée Descartes, the pOlau, the Volapük, the MAC/VAL, the galerie Kamel Mennour, the Galeria Continua and the galerie Marian Goodman; Location: lycée Descartes, Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France, 2011

Bruno Peinado, Sans titre, le jardin aux sentiers qui bifurquent, 2012. The context of the artwork involved the integration of a busy patient consultation area with a peaceful space to allow patients room for calm and reflection. The title of the work, Untitled, the garden with forked paths, is taken from a story by Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths is evocative of a different place in an enclosed space, and also of the idea of paths as a metaphor for the concept of reflecting on important decisions in life. The result was a PVC floor design evocative of a garden, a ‘passarelle’ or bridge between the Institute of Cancer and the outside world. Peinado developed a network of coloured lines from floor to ceiling, like a tree with luxuriant branches, which transforms everything it touches into pure colour, amplified by light boxes with a constantly changing rhythm and intensity of colour.

Mediation : Entre-deux (Jacques Rivet et Marie-Laure Viale)

Stéphane Thidet, Le Ruisseau. For the Hôpital Jean Jaurès in Paris, the Director, Thibaut Tenailleau, and the staff wanted a symbolic aspect to improve the reception areas.  Stéphane Thidet’s project Le Ruisseau (The Brook) is a glass covered, underfloor watercourse, with various meandering routes to suggest  fountains, waterfalls, and irrigation for plantations. The artwork brought the ‘outside -inside’ through the notion of flux – a conducting line or ‘thread’  through the flow of patients, visitors, staff working on site connecting the different parts of the site and enabling staff and visitors,“ to have a free access to art with their own sensibilities”. 

Mediator: Eternal Network; Patrons: The Hospital and staff; Location: Hôpital Jean Jaurès, Paris XIX, France, 2012

Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Le Belvédère des Ondes. The architectural project transforms the Moulin de la Croix, a modest eighteenth century windmill occupying a strategic position in Saint-Benoit des Ondes, into the Le Belvédère des Ondes (The Belvedere of the Waves). Visitors can access the upper terrace with panoramic views over the bay of Mont Saint-Michel. A circular staircase provides access to the viewing platform and a railing with the image of small waves. To give the original architecture a more significant presence, any additional buildings were removed. Inside the building the floors were taken away to create a shared meeting place for encounters and observation. At night the lighting will suggest an enigmatic mysteriously inhabited building or an old lighthouse.

Artist: Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Le Belvédère des Ondes. Commanditaires: Monsieur Jacques Daniel, Maire de Saint-Benoît-des-Ondes, accompagné d’élus et d’habitants de la commune. Partners: Commune de Saint-Benoît-des-Ondes, Fondation de France, Communauté d’agglomération de Saint-Malo, Le pays de Saint-Malo, Conseil général d’Ille-et-Vilaine. Location: Saint-Benoît-des-Ondes, Ille-et-Vilaine. In progress

Julien Celdran, Sandwich Sound SystemLocated in the inner-city neighbourhood of Sanitas in the city of Tours, Radouane Nidam’s sandwich shop was a visual urban cliché, white, covered with stickers and a list sandwiches prices. Julien Cerdan turned the panels of the van into a mobile artwork to create a new symbolic community HQ decorated with diversity and fraternity symbols.

Mediator: Eternal Network; Patrons: Radouane Nidam; Supporters: Fondation de France; Location: Sanitas disctrict, Tours, France, 2010 continuing..

Images: Jorge and Lucy Orta, Les Nuits d’après, 2010; Les Nuits Noires (Courtesy of Eternal Network); Bruno Peinado. Sans titre, le jardin aux sentiers qui birurquent, 2012. Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest René Gauducheau, Saint-Herblain (Courtesy of Marc Domage/Eternal Network); Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Le Belvédère des Ondes (Courtesy of Eternal Network) Stéphane Thidet, Le Ruisseau (Courtesy of Casimir Perez);  Julien Celdran, Sandwich Sound System.


AAJPress series on art organisations and commissioning. Text: Zénaïde d’Albufera

About zenaide85

Zenaïde d’Albufera has a master’s degree in international law (Université Paris X, Nanterre, France and Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina) and a master's degree in cultural communication. She worked for Christie’s in Paris and the Simon Lee Gallery, Mayfair as PR manager and is currently Media Director at Art and Architecture Journal Press.


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