Symposium ’Duchamp and Sweden’ (28 avril 2015) [sv]
Discours de M. Jacques Lapouge, Ambassadeur de France en Suède, à l’occasion du symposium ’Duchamp and Sweden’ le 28 avril 2015.
"Dear Anne-Sofi Noring,
Dear Cécile Debray,
Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests
It is a pleasure to welcome you all at the French Residence.
I like the idea that three days ago, more than 3 000 people were visiting this very same place during Kulturnatt, to enjoy what we called “en kväll i Paris” (“a night in Paris”). And that, this evening, we are in a smaller format on the occasion of the symposium “Duchamp and Sweden : on the reception of Marcel Duchamp after World War II”, the Moderna Museet is organizing in close collaboration with the Art History departments at Stockholm University and Södertorn University. Different audiences, different angles, but still, culture as a link between Sweden and France
I had heard about the vast collection of Marcel Duchamp’s works at the Moderna Museet and so I was very excited when I found out about this Symposium. I was even happier to learn how much dedication was being put toward making this collection of over 30 works come to life. Your symposium is a perfect example of this dedication and I would like to thank all the organizations which have organized it (Moderna Museet, Stockholm University, Södertorn University) and supported it (Terra : Fondation for American art and Institut français de Suède). It is an honor to see so many international experts here.
I will not even try to speak about Marcel Duchamp’s work in front of you - in fact, I rather hope you will accept to share a bit of your expertise with me tonight - but I shall take the opportunity to underline some trends I have noticed since my arrival in Stockholm in September.
The first one, obviously is the deep interest, here, for contemporary art, architecture and design. I cannot help but thinking that having access to a rich collection, such as Moderna’s, has had an impact on new creations, innovations and aesthetics. Needless to say, these are issues that are also of great interest in France right now. The related question of how to display these collections is ongoing and I know the Centre Pompidou, in connection with different international museums such as the Moderna, is very committed to this reflection.
I also think that we live exciting times regarding the connections between France and Sweden in the contemporary art scene. There are a number of ambitious Swedish artists and designers showing in many galleries in France and holding residencies in the Cité International des Arts in Paris. Similarly, it is a pleasure to see so many French artists – Sophie Calle, Tarek Atoui, Camille Henrot, Xavier Veilhan, to mention but a few – whose works have recently been in exhibitions in Stockholm. I have heard that some of them have even been holding residencies in Gotland during the summer, which should not be too much of a sacrifice. And it would be remiss of me not to also acknowledge the impressive retrospective at Moderna on Louise Bourgeois, right now. I hope you will forgive us if we do claim her as our own, regardless of what the Americans say.
In this spirit, I would like to commend the Moderna Museet and Centre Pompidou for their long lasting partnership, and you will understand that, as an Ambassador of France, I wish it to flourish all the more in the years to come.
Again, it is a pleasure to welcome so many notable guests and international experts to the Residence this evening. I wish you the very best for the end of the Symposium tomorrow and the dialogue that will continue well after. Thank you, and please enjoy the evening."