The railway station, new contemporary agora
Théophile Gautier, like many of his contemporaries, saw in the station the agora of the modern city : “These cathedrals of the new humanity are the meeting points of the nations , the center where everything converges, the core of massive stars with iron rays stretching to the end of the earth“. Since the nineteenth century, the station has become the gate of the city and the hub of urban development. But according to artists’ desire, Courbet and Monet at the first place, it is also the most beautiful museum, the one where art meets people, can flourish in monumental dimensions. “Because it was mixing considerable masses of individuals of all origins and from all social classes, the station could have become, like Monet and Courbet wished in France, Jules Destrée in Belgium, the place to popularize a new art, offering artists the immensity of its walls, a theater of unprecedented proportions“. (Time for stations, Paris Centre Georges Pompidou, 1978, p. 33). This will, the Third Republic will seize it, with settings having the eclectic charm of the end of that century .
Today more than ever , the challenges of FRAC (Regional Funds for Contemporary Art) meet these expectations : pulling art out of the museum, go to the territories, showcase the art of recent years and to meet the wider public. To the star of the railway corresponds the new star, in a desire of unexpected encounters and breaking down barriers.
Rooted in the heart of neighborhoods, cities and territories, stations are at the image of their peculiarities, a window on our urban world undergoing profound change.
Within these new contemporary agoras, entreprisecontemporaine® brings the best of today’s artists, to initiate connexions between the wider public and the art of our time, to encourage a spirit of curiosity and discovery, to recreate this physical network contributing to a “better living together.”