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A Republic of Art

Plublication on the occasion of the exhibition

A Republic of Art
French Regional Collections of Contemporary Art

Van Abbemuseum
27/06/2015 – 04/10/2015
Curated by Annie Fletcher and Diana Franssen

A Republic of Art EN
A Republic of Art FR

A Republic of Art is an exhibition about the world of visual art in the French Republic from the establishment of the FRAC system in 1982 right up to current developments in contemporary art today. These 23 Fonds regionaux d’art contemporains (FRAC) were to span the entire country. Each was empowered to fund, collect and exhibit contemporary living artists from France and beyond, thus providing the whole country with a uniquely ambitious and robust support system for the production of visual art in its own time.

The large-scale exhibition taking place in the ten classical galleries of the old building of the Van Abbemuseum tells the story of art and the ambitious plans of the French state in collecting, organising and dispersing contemporary art in radically new ways. Rather than simply exhibiting these more than 100 art works, the Van Abbemuseum will apply much of its own experimental thinking developed in exhibiting its own collection, which brings both art history and lived history together in provocative and exciting ways.

By looking at the collections of the FRACs from the perspective of cultural history, visitors will be able to compare their own memories and emotions of the past thirty years with the works of art that were made in that time. For some, a feast of recognition, a new acquaintance to others and a retrieval of memories. For others a sense of the power of history. But for all – because of the wealth of images – a ‘mer à boire’.


Annie Fletcher, Lena Reisner

Managing Editor
Lena Reisner

Ami Barak, Catherine Elkar, Charles Esche, Annie Fletcher, Xavier Franceschi, Diana Franssen, Laurence Gateau, Aliocha Imhoff and Kantuta Quirós, Bernard de Montferrand, Steven Wright

Translations EN
Caroline Burnett, Ian Monk, Auke van den Berg

Text proofing EN
Clare Butcher

Translations FR
Adel Tincelin

Text Proofing FR
Vincent Simon

75B, Štefan Jan Lebar

Peter Cox, Štefan Jan Lebar

Van Abbemuseum
Bilderdijklaan 10
5611 NH Eindhoven
The Netherlands

Regroupement des Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain
32 rue Yves Toudic
75010 Paris, France

This publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License

© 2015, the artists, the authors, the photographers, ADAGP (Paris) 2015, for the works if its members, Van Abbemuseum, PLAT FORM

Artists in the Exhibition

Absalon, Agnès Accorsi, Dennis Adams, Lara Almarcegui, Yto Barrada, Bibliothèque Fantastique, Ursula Biemann, Dara Birnbaum, Monica Bonvicini, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Daniel Buren, Sophie Calle, Marta Caradec, Alex Chan, Henri Coldeboeuf, documentation céline duval, Jimmie Durham, Latifa Echakhch, Harun Farocki, Mounir Fatmi, Cao Fei, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Michel François, Claire Fontaine, Meschac Gaba, General Idea, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Renée Green, Subodh Gupta, Hans Haacke, Raymond Hains, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Höller, Douglas Huebler, Pierre Huyghe, Bouchra Khalili, Matthieu Laurette, Louise Lawler, Paul McCarthy, Gustav Metzger, Antoni Muntadas, N55, Jean-Christophe Norman, Boris Ondreicka, ORLAN, Gabriel Orozco, Sener Özmen/Cengiz Tekin, Philippe Parreno, Yan Pei-Ming, Lili Reynaud Dewar, Gerhard Richter, Jimmy Robert, Bruno Serralongue, Cindy Sherman, Simon Starling, Jessica Stockholder, The Atlas Group/Walid Raad, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Luc Tuymans, Ben Vautier, Huang Yong Ping, Chen Zhen.