What Goes on at the Beaux-arts
The new École Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Nantes opened its doors in September 2017 with an innovative approach to teaching that valorizes the convergence of disciplines and cultures.
On September 26, 2017, 403 students, including 105 international students of 20 different nationalities, began the new school year at the new Nantes art school neighboring other art educational institutions on the Island of Nantes (art, architecture, design, communications, film, media, music and dance). The new building is shaped like an ocean liner, with three stories, each 129 meters long, and a total area of 8,500 square meters. Of that, 4,500 square meters are dedicated to technical workshops (wood, metal, casting, modeling, serigraphy, lithography, video, silver halide photography, digital photography, etc.) These studios and the associated production faculties for students will facilitate a real porosity between general art education and its technical aspects. The research library, stocked with more than 22,000 titles about art and related creative endeavors, is available to students and professionals. The freely accessible documentary resource center comprises collections of books for children and young people, graphzines, comic books and graphic novels, artists’ books and digital editions. It will also hold meetings and lectures. The school’s 250 square meter art gallery will provide dynamic stimulus for young artists with programming linked to both teaching activities and local cultural actors like the public regional art center (FRAC des Pays de la Loire) and the Nantes art museum. The teaching program is complemented by a student life stimulated by collective projects such as the opening of an organic food kitchen, a store selling art objects and multiples, participative artistic practices workshops, online offers and convivial urban furnishings in the front courtyard (designed by the Fichtre collective). CURRICULUM During their first two years students begin the phase of experimenting with their project through five artistic approaches: Construction—DAM (Diffusion, Art, Multiples)— Images—Theater sets—Painting. During their third year students receive professional training through internships or studies abroad, and prepare their graduation project for a three-year diploma (DNA). A second cycle of studies focuses on exploring and developing artistic practices. It is organized into four segments: “Making artworks” means taking up connected or transversal practices (drawing, painting, sculpture and installation), taking into account the interplay of chance and determination in the creative process. “Actions” involves interrogating, trying out, and researching the notion of action or intervention considered as a corporal protocol, performance, staging, events, written acts, body language, the operatory character of language, and the links between multimedia and happening. The aim of “Forms of the real” is to consider the consequences of what goes on and what is constructed in extended artistic practices in film and the movie-making economy—how to construct with sound and visual elements, turning matter into images, the material construction of narratives. “Building worlds” deals with contemporary artistic productions involving transversal practices, working with emerging forms and knowledges and interrogating the consequences of globalization, organized around concrete, collective investigations in connection with the students’ artistic work. Each of these segments offers students specific work contexts at the school’s three international campuses: the U.S. (Marfa-Houston), South Korea (SeoulSuncheon) and Senegal (Dakar-Rufisque). These innovative arrangements combine immersion, research and production. COOPERATION The school’s move to the Nantes island site provides a dynamic impetus to the creation of joint programs with other higher education establishments: the opening of a prep school with the Saint Nazaire art school; an international program open to foreign students involving a network of partnerships in French-speaking Europe; a masters degree in cultural administration, promotion and mediation with the university of Nantes; diploma programs in exhibition layout and design; and a research program called “Thinking from Borders” with the Nantes architecture school. Finally, other cooperative masters degree programs are being envisaged: in creative writing and digital publishing, art research, landscape and public spaces with the HEAD in Geneva and the K’Arts in Seoul; future-forward design; shared events, spaces, knowledge, skills and techniques—to invent the new professions of the future.
Translation, L-S Torgoff
Paul Garcin. DNAP 2017. (Ph. Marc Dieulangard). Mai Tran is in charge of publishing and information at the Nantes art school.
Inès Elichondoborde. Parcours « Expériences et pratiques de l'art élargies au cinéma ». DNSEP 2017. (Ph. Marc Dieulangard). Extended cinema sequence