#Arts & Entertainment

The contemporary art centre at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec is the vehicle of a specific artistic and cultural ambition, crucial in Brittany, and setting an example, internationally. The greatest artists have passed through Kerguéhennec, some of them to put on their first shows. Thirty thousand visitors come each year to meet them. Educational institutions, from elementary to advanced, have adopted it as an unavoidable reference.

Founded in 1986 around the plan to create a sculpture park, the contemporary art centre, which bears the name of the Domaine de Kerguéhennec, was subsidized until 2009 by the Morbihan Département, the Brittany Region and the French Ministry of Culture. It was first supported by the Frac Bretagne, then directed from 1992 to 1999 by Denys Zacharopoulos, and since 2000 by Frédéric Paul. The outstanding sculpture collection was formed with the backing of the Frac Bretagne and public State commissions.

In late 2009, after nearly 25 years of cooperation, with the site availability agreement about to expire, it was not renewed by the Morbihan Département, owner of the estate. In 2010, Region and Ministry both announced their subsidies to the Domaine de Kerguéhennec, but the Morbihan Département, which still owes half the 2009 grant, did not even acknowledge receipt of the subsequent request. More categorically, in a letter, its President ordered the Domaine de Kerguéhennec to move out of the premises by 1 June.

Meanwhile, a reform project is being negotiated by its historical partners to move the Domaine de Kerguéhennec from its association status to EPCC status (Public establishment for cultural cooperation), both on non-profit basis. Discussions are under way to regrade employees in the future EPCC, the present director beeing dismissed without consultation. Today, however, direct management seems to be the owner’s preferred system. This takeover is ushering in another project, backed by the Morbihan Département, about whose contents the team of the contemporary art centre are completely in the dark.

The Domaine de Kerguéhennec is a creative training and residency centre which has greatly contributed to the modernized image of Morbihan and Brittany. But modernity does not come without renewed efforts.

There is every risk that the Domaine de Kerguéhennec, along with its spirit and its style will be sacrificed. And 25 years of thoughtfulness and ingeniousness when it comes to raising public awareness about its demanding programme may be snuffed out. As if, after enjoying two decades of support, this programme was suddenly being deemed inappropriate and uninspired.

It is not too late to help by declaring your attachment to and support for the contemporary art centre at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec, and forcefully stating your wish that:

- There be a resumption of dialogue between the Morbihan Département, the Brittany Region, and the State;
- The financial wherewithal required for the continuation of its activities be re-established and the commitments for the year maintained;
- Discussions with the EPCC be resumed;
- The contemporary art centre project once again becomes the hub of its social brief;
- The association be consulted and respected;
- Its staff be involved in this change;
- And the expulsion order be rescinded.

After 24 years of commitment to art, the Domaine de Kerguéhennec, centre d’art contemporain/centre culturel de rencontre, located at Bignan (France), is in danger.

While the State and the Brittany Region have renewed their support for 2010, the Conseil général du Morbihan has announced that it is completely backing out, and is ordering the association to immediately leave the site and the premises which it has been developing and enhancing since 1986. The artistic and cultural project is under threat of extinction as of this summer, in spite of its renown, local and international alike.

Public, artists, and professionals! Your support is crucial to demand that this major cultural facility be preserved!

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The Domaine de Kerguéhennec, the Contemporary art centre in danger petition to FRENCH MINISTER OF CULTURE, PDT CONSEIL REGIONAL BRETAGNE, PDT CONSEIL GENERAL MORBIHAN was written by art contemporain en Bretagne and is in the category Arts & Entertainment at GoPetition.