27 January 2017
Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès, Gesture as an inheritance.
Our gestures are creating us … Through this credo, the Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès wants to valorize the craft trades and more broadly the mastery and transmission of the creative gestures that it considers as a precious part of the heritage of Humanity. Driven by this noble ambition, the Foundation cultivates art and the way to forge links between the world of craftsman, that of the artist and the public to put meaning in the object and the gesture that creates it.
In our society of hyperconsumption where the barely produced object becomes obsolete, the foundation sees in it cardinal values: durability and transmission. “The object is a vector of culture, it is charged with knowledge, it embodies practices, know-how, a thought. It is the expression of a strong creativity and factor of innovation. It is emblematic of our patrimonial values and testifies to our humanity. ” This is the summary in these words of Pierre-Alexis Dumas, initiator of the Foundation and Artistic Director of Hermès International.
For his very first cycle of exhibitions entitled “the gesture of thought”, Guillaume Désanges went to meet the staff of the house. He noticed the importance of know-how for Hermès, and their link with a contemporary creation. “Guillaume invites artists who can be conceptual, even very cerebral at times, and who at the same time make themselves, are extremely meticulous and even obsessive in their way of making objects” explains Catherine Tsekenis. For the exhibition curator, who emphasizes her total freedom of proposal, the most important is that artists can produce projects that are a stage in their work. “I suggest they use the canopy to do something they might not be doing elsewhere. La Verrière is a preserved space, a little stolen, where freedom is great. ”
Moreover, in order to go further in supporting the creation, the Foundation uses the manufactures of Maison Hermès as part of an artist residencies program inaugurated in 2010.
The residence, accompanied by a scholarship, begins with a phase of immersion within the workshop: the artist becomes familiar with the different trades on the site and is introduced to gestures, words, tools and techniques. The project born of the white page gives place
to a feasibility study. The last stage, that of production, uses the craftsmen’s invaluable know-how to produce a work in two copies: one for the artist and the other for the Foundation, which will be kept or presented at exhibitions .
Young emerging artists are sponsored by established artists. In 2010, Olivier Sévère resided at the Cristallerie Saint Louis. In 2014, Lucie Picandet resided in Le Maroquinerie de Pantin. In total, twenty five artists in six years created, explored, experimented on a dozen different sites. The privileged links of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès with the Palais de Tokyo in Paris made it possible to present their works to the public within the framework of the exhibition Condensation, in 2013, of which Gaël Charbau assured
the curation. A collaboration that will be renewed in 2017 to present the works of the 2016 cycle of residencies that highlight three artists: Bianca Argimon at Hermès Holding Textile, Lucia Bru at Cristallerie Saint-Louis, and Anastasia Douka at John Lobb in Northampton, England .
in November 2016, Manufacto, the know-how factory, a program unpublished in school, dedicated to the discovery of crafts. In collaboration with the Rector of Paris, but also with
The Compagnons du Devoir and the Tour de France, and with the Camondo school in Paris, Manufacto has started in six Parisian schools, with students of different levels (elementary, secondary and high school). Supervised by a trio of specialists, a carpenter or leather craftsman, a designer and a teacher,
An object through a cycle of technical practice workshops. This pilot year will allow the development of the program on a larger scale thanks to the partnership established with other rectorships in other regions of France. These “non-academic” teachings aim to help students discover new skills and integrate the values of these trades, such as transmission, mutual aid and demand.
to jeopardize their traditions, their knowledge and even their own identity. Finally, “Heart – Head – Hand = H3” is the equation of an internal call for applications, launched with the collaborators of the Hermès house, to bring to the knowledge of the Foundation new solidarity initiatives, emanating from all the continents . Among the projects supported, in the heart of the Ardèche, the Liger association is mobilizing to save the roofs covered with broom or
of slate. Courses of sedge sampling and laying of slate are offered to the individuals and professionals concerned by this habitat, as well as a reflection on the preservation of these roofs that combine tradition with respect for local biodiversity.
– Novelty Ltd: Douglas Eynon and Erwan Mahéo, exhibition at La Verrière, Brussels from January 18 to March 25, 2017. An exhibition presented by Guillaume Désanges, curator of the cycle “Ballistic Poetry”.
-The spirit of the Bauhaus, Decorative Arts, Paris from October 19, 2016 to February 26, 2017. Curator Oliver Gabet, Director of Museums of Decorative Arts.
– Palais de Tokyo Fall 2017: exhibition of nine artists in residence including three artists from the current cycle (exact dates to come).