Located in San Rafael in the State of Veracruz, Mexico, Casa Proal Foundation develops its activities since July 2015 from a recently renovated house. Built at the end of the 19th century by French settlers from the region of Haute-Saone, the house is surrounded by lush vegetation. The instigator of the project and president of the Casa Proal Foundation, Carlos Couturier, is one of the descendants of the French settlers who spread their farming operations in the production of bananas, citrus and livestock and by selflessness knew to adapt themselves to a new environment and respecting it. They lived in perfect cultural syncretism with the local population.
Casa Proal Foundation’s main objective is to develop cultural projects that combine the relationships between art, human beings and their natural environment and to take account as much as possible the people of San Rafael (State of Veracruz, Mexico) and its 29 communities.
By focusing on the relation between “art and nature”, Casa Proal Foundation wanted to create in this region a laboratory of artistic creation, exchange, research and education giving to the artist a privileged role of guide and inspiration for the emergence of consciousness and collective responsibility with regard to the great challenges of sustainable development.
The main objectives of the Foundation are:
– To contribute to the cultural development of the San Rafael area with a rich cultural and natural heritage insufficiently developed.
– To sensitize the local population, through contemporary art, to the challenges of “the ecumene,” namely the importance of mutual impregnation of the place and what’s there.
– Helping young visual artists from Francophone countries, as having chosen field of art and its interaction with nature, to perfect their practice through international experience and a scholarship for producing art.
– To create a unique space, a true laboratory research-create, regarding contemporary artistic practices linking “nature and art” and heirs of land art by inviting well-known visual artists.
METHODS / PLAN
Since July 2015, Casa Proal Foundation develops the following projects:
1/ ”Artist Residency” program
The first action of the Foundation is to create a place for artists’ residences within the Casa Proal, which provides an opportunity for emerging artists, visual or sound artists, video makers or writers from Francophone countries thanks to a scholarship, to develop an artistic project during a period of four months around practices combining “nature and art”.
The residences take place from February to May and June to September every year.
The artists in residency are selected by a jury chaired by Gilles A. Tiberghien, who dedicated many books and articles to the relationships between art and nature, and composed of Angeles Alonso Espinosa, independent curator, Zelika Garcia, Director of the contemporary art fair ZONA MACO (Mexico City), Carlos Couturier, President of the Casa Proal Foundation, Moises Micha, CEO of the Habita Group, Victor Palacios, Chief Curator at Casa del Lago (Mexico City), Patric CLANET, Director of the High European School of the Image (Angouleme & Poitiers), Rodrigo Tovar, Director of Sociedad Anonima (Mexico City), and Michel Blancsubé, Director of the Casa Proal Foundation.
Through this creative experience in Mexico, a thriving country in the field of contemporary art, Casa Proal Foundation also aims to promote the work of these artists by putting them in touch with professionals of contemporary art during their stay.
Around multidisciplinary artistic practices, the Casa Proal artist residency program fosters the conditions of emergence of works with a singular and sensitive look at the place, its history and its natural environment.
The produced works offer to the inhabitants, but also to the visitors, a replay of the landscape of this region of Mexico. These artworks explore the relationship between nature and contemporary art while interacting with the community.
Residents are asked to build a working relationship with the art community in the region of Veracruz and Mexico and to involve as much as they can the local population, in one way or another, in their creative project.
2/ ”Permanent Artworks” Program
Inviting renowned visual artists to create outdoor permanent artworks within a given space. These artworks add value to the landscaped, historical and architectural heritage by proposing a new reading of the site.
The course will transform spatial perceptions of each visitor by creating spaces, atmospheres, perceptions and new sensations in relation to the site.