HARTUNG-BERGMAN FOUNDATION SEMINAR
Click here for the Letter
Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Staff: Carole Gautier and Cécile Pichon-Bonin
Translator: David Ames Curtis
And what if art were capable of implementing democracy? That is the wager laid down by the New Patrons, who open thereby a new chapter in the history of art. The instigator is François Hers, who has been the initiator of many other transformations, such as participating in the creation of Viva photo news agency in 1972 and heading the photography mission of DATAR—the French Inter-ministerial delegation for territorial development and regional attractiveness— at the request of Bernard Latarjet back in the 1980s.
Starting from the assumption that the artist has been vested with a series of missions over the course of time before being expected to be the embodiment of political truth, both present and future, at the time when democracy was invented in the nineteenth century, Hers raises the issue of the current status of the artist in a world where individual freedom has triumphed without it leading to a satisfactory renewal of the artist’s social contract. It is in the democratic patron (potentially, us all) that Hers sees the salvation of art and of the artist in search of a new role within public debates. It is in this shared artwork, whose forms are ever to be reinvented, that Hers sees a more audacious and more harmonious social contract taking shape in the future.