Frac de Marseille: committed artists, in the environment of Kengo Kuma

The Franc Fund (Regional Fund for Contemporary Art) Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur opened the new project by director Muriel Enjalran by inviting three artists with a focus on Portugal and submitting a short film. The collection consists of more than 1,300 works and represents nearly 600 artists. The place with its different architecture and peculiarities is incredible.

As a result of the partnership between the state and the regions, the Fracs were created in 1982. Their role is to preserve, distribute and make contemporary art accessible to all audiences. The Frac PACA is part of the “new generation”, with a pilot career – six Fracs in France out of twenty. Designed by famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (born 1954). This architect has built many institutions including the second generation of Frac, and he has just renovated the Albert Cannes Museum in Boulogne-Billancourt.

Frak Baka, Marseille © Fatma Alilat

Nour Marseille

The Frac PACA is open to the city with part of its structure at the heart of the block. It is located in a severe urban center in the Juliet District, the former Docks District. Once one of the most disadvantaged places to live in Marseille, it benefited from great urban renewal and became an economic and cultural center. The building designed by Kengo Kuma opened in 2013, the year Marseille became the European Capital of Culture. The architect set up the building as a vertical metaphor for the bustling streets of Mediterranean cities. The plot of land posed a strong limitation due to its triangular shape and its location between two streets. Kengo Kuma wanted to explore the light of Marseille. The building is atypical and covered with a facade of 1,700 light-filtering enameled glass panels – each panel tilted at a different angle.

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To achieve this, Kengo Kuma took inspiration from the esophagus of the human body by designing spaces according to the tasks assigned to Frac. Pedestrian bridges connect two parts of the building, consisting of large, well-ventilated plateaus. The floor is in polished concrete because Kengo Kuma wanted to place the place in the continuity of the city and in harmony with its role in the dissemination of contemporary art. From the inner balcony we see the houses. It is very amazing, artistic place very close to the residence with washing hanging on the balconies. On the second floor, the urban terrace allows for another experience with a panoramic view of the Juliet area. On the left side, Frac and its multiple panels are mirrored on a building. Against the old basins, we see second nature (2010), the delicate work of Miguel Chevalier and Charles Buffy.

Three exhibitions related to the France-Portugal season and an award-winning film installation are currently available at the Cannes Film Festival.

"Radio Foz da Liberdade" Written by Angela Ferreira-Frac Baka, Marseille © Fatma Alilat

“Rádio Voz da Liberdade” by Angela Ferreira-Frac Baka, Marseille © Fatma Alilate

Exhibitions and a short film

On the first plateau, it’s a historical fact taken up by Angela Ferreira. Exhibition installation Radio Foz da Liberdade A tribute to an Algerian radio station that hosted a Portuguese radio station from 1962 to 1974 during the “new state” dictatorship. The representation of the two radios with their waves is phenomenal. Angela Ferreira was touched by these years of solidarity from an African country. In the second group, Wilfried Almendra, a Franco-Portuguese artist based in Marseille, invites you to discoverAdelaide – The exhibition consists of two parts, in Frac and Panorama de la Frèche de la Belle de Mai. Wilfred Almendra is inspired by the world of work and borrows recycled or salvaged items to foster an alternative economy based on mutual aid relationships. His artistic practice transforms utilitarian objects into poetic installations. for Mallows (2022), a herbarium inserted in 36 glass panels extending above the bay window in the inner balcony, the artist indicates the beauty of nature. On this floor, the short film is shown fireworks (archives) – 2014 – By Apichatpong Weerasethakul. We’re seeing motion pictures, from apparitions to the crackling of fireworks. These figures or statues represent the struggle against persecution in Thailand.

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On the second level, in the urban terrace extension, is the Documentation Center where one can consult ephemeral libraries Written by the artists shown – the works that led them to the visual arts. Gallery displays exerciseInsertion ; Unexpected and humorous contents are included in newspapers and books. The Documentary Fund includes nearly 4,000 publications in various media.

On the pilot platform upstairs, accessible only by elevator, Phyllis gesture by Ramiro Guerreiro echoes the Frac Building through a painting technique analyzed from the angle of architecture and urban politics.

"Adelaide" Wilfried Almendra - Frak Baka, Marseille © Fatma Alilat

“Adelaide” by Wilfried Almendra-Frac Baka, Marseille © Fatma Allilat

Muriel Engalran for the first exhibitions of her art project has selected artists with aesthetic realms characterized by social connections and political awareness. At Frac PACA, artists play with the design of spaces, windows and light. It is a perfect place for show and creativity. The scenography is often amazing. Kengo Kuma built an amazing building. He left an imprint of his talent and a certain appetite.

Fatima Alilat

Angela Ferrara Radio Foz da Liberdade, In Frac – Navigation Panel

Exhibition from 25 June 2022 to 22 January 2023 – Curator Muriel Engalran, as part of the 2022 Franco-Portuguese season.

Wilfred Almendra Adelaide – Invitation from Frac and Fraeme, Friche la Belle de Mai, in Frac – Perspective group

Exhibition from 25 June to 30 October 2022 – Curator Muriel Engalran. In Panorama – Exhibition Fresh La Belle de Mai from 24 June to 16 October 2022 – Curator Sophia Lemos.

Ramiro Guerrero Phyllis gesture, In Frac – Experimentation platform Exhibition from 25 June to 25 September 2022 Curators Martine Robin and Muriel Engalran, in partnership with Paréidolie, International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, Marseille.

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Apichatpong Weerasethakul fireworks (archives), In Frac – Indoor Performance Platform

Exhibition from 25 June to 25 September 2022 – Curator Muriel Engalran, as part of the Grand Arles Express.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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