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France sets out to conquer the United States with a new artist residence in the United States

Villa Albertine will fund sixty art projects to help bridge the cultural gap that has arisen between the two countries.

Three hundred and fifty years after the founding of the Academy de France in Rome, it later became Villa Medici, a century after Gaza Velasquez in Madrid and thirty years after its inauguration Villa Kujoyama In Kyoto, the United States renewed the idea of ​​a major artist residence abroad. The baptized “Villa Albertine” was announced on July 2 by Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Trianon, who wants to be fully ambitious and light-hearted in terms of functionality.

This villa will not really be together, since in the classic sense of the word, it will not be a unique residence: “No city, not even New York, has an American cultural monopoly. It would have been hard to choose one to rent the space, not to mention the high cost of this approach.” The future owner of Villa Albertine, Canton Bruel, says it will be launched in the fall. So “Albertine” relied on the cultural services of the French embassy, ​​i.e. 80 people in Central Park, New York. The latter, every year, is carried by sixty apartments, by creators, thinkers or even directors of French companies or museums. “We will fund original research projects, invite land and meetings. We will be tailors in terms of funding.” Condon Bruel continues. Ten existing French cultural services, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans or Chicago, can support artists or writers whose residency averages. 20.00.

For the first edition, the embassy should start with several personalities, including comic book author Quentin Jushan, who will travel across the United States on a train to portray American youth, singer and double bass player Celine Saint-Aime, who will immerse herself in New Orleans music history. For his part, photographer and visual artist Nicholas Flock will explore the waters of Mississippi for a project that combines anthropology, climate science, geopolitics and culture. “United States Awesome Study, Inspiration and Recognition of the French – If You Know How to Support Us” Philippe Etienne, the French ambassador to the United States, summarizes. The American “new world” that many Europeans continue to dream of is not easily accessible in its vastness. Visas with or without Covid 19 are issued in a trick, and life is very expensive.


Beyond the assistance provided to these few dozen “lucky” people each year, the embassy hopes to help bridge the cultural gap that has developed between France and the United States. Although the two countries have good diplomatic relations, museums and institutions on both sides also have different ways of thinking and doing things. Except for differences in financial systems – public money in France, private money in the United States, diversity, the place given to women or minorities in exhibitions or products, are not the same. While Americans happily mock the classicism and immobility of the French, the latter do not understand the culture of “awakening”. “LAmericans look at geographies other than us, and the way they continue to look at us, especially our culture, will never be free from some misunderstandings. ” The ambassador continues. Sixty apartments are intended to “surprise” the United States, and make France understand that it still sounds creative and open-minded.

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