“Cleaning” their art is a burning problem for artists

“I have been sculpting on cardboard for a long time, which is quite an ecological material, but for several years I have been creating outdoor works in concrete. It is impossible for me not to think about the impact of their production. » Eva Cospin, winner of the new Art eco-design award at Tokyo Palace in Paris on January 10th, along with eleven other artists, rejoices.

Thanks to this prize, he will be able to benefit from the support of eco-design experts and even a full life cycle analysis of his dream project: a park where architectural idiots live. “I am not an environmental activist. I don’t want to flag my works, assures this designer who is in high demand today. On the other hand, I want to be able to ask myself the right questions. And these environmental problems are quite technical in nature. »

Alice Audouin, president of the Art of Change 21 association at the start of the award, noted that in recent years the museum and gallery world has begun to integrate environmental issues. “Art Paris was the first exhibition to implement a life-cycle analysis that combines not only a simple carbon footprint, but also ten environmental criteria for water, land, biodiversity…”he notes.

“Artists are also extremely eager to change their practice, but they seemed to us helpless, often working alone and on unique works…” A testament to their strong expectations, the Art eco-design award, barely launched last November, received 278 applications from French-based visual artists within a month.

Monumental works, “is this still a way for the future?” »

Fabien Léaustic, an artist and researcher interested in the challenges of the Anthropocene, will share his experience with the winners. “There is no generalizable recipe. It always happens in every situation.” testifies. He himself admits that he proceeded rather empirically in the beginning: “For my work with phytoplankton, for example, during my residency at Casa de Vélasquez, I collaborated with a laboratory in Madrid. These devices required a lot of energy under artificial lighting. Now they are passive…”

A real headache, ecodesign is everywhere, both the amount of material used, origin, means of production, as well as storage, communication, exhibition… “We will not find a solution to everything. The goal is also not to stop creating, but to try to make better choices at the top.”Fabien Léaustic summarizes. He takes the example of monumental works. “Is this still the way forward? France is committed to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Should artists also scale? This is a real question. »

Also Martiniquaise Louisa Marajo, winner of the Art eco-design award, explains that she uses multiple palettes in her installations. “We have a tradition of recycling these pallets associated with island transport. Residents build huts with furniture. But where do they come from? What wood are they made of? What is the toxicity of the nail polish I use? I have to clean up my craft because I would like to clean up a man who has been seriously poisoned by chlordecone and whose banks are invaded by sargassum.it develops violently.

The cost of eco-design can put artists back

Fanny Legros, former director of the Poggi gallery, founder of Karbone Prod, which helps cultural sector players in the eco-design of their projects in 2020, will accompany the winners. He recognizes that: “Currently, this approach is quite expensive because there is a lack of data and tools. The more players commit to it, the lower the prices will be. But for artists, it remains an obstacle. » So far, her company has mainly collaborated with companies or cultural institutions, and only one artist, Gaëlle Choisne, is committed to colonial issues and pays attention to the selection and origin of her materials.

“Institutes should include eco-design budgets in their commissions to artistsFanny begs Legros. Assistance is also available from the Environmental Transition Agency. » In his view, the Ministry of Culture should, above all, give a real push. He wants to believe: “We are at the beginning of eco-design. Since the pandemic, cultural actors have finally started to act on these issues. It will speed up. »


12 winning artists

New Art eco-design awardOn January 10, with the support of Ruinart house, Art of Change 21 association will support 12 winning artists in the eco-design of their projects.

This support consists of a three-day exchange with eco-design specialized firms (Karbone Prod and Solinnen) and experts (designer, artist, exhibition production director, etc.) to reflect the effects of practices and alternatives.

Full life cycle analysis The project will be carried out for two artists, Eva Jospin and Louisa Marajo.

€1,000 grant can be obtained by each laureate at the end of this support.

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