VIAPAC contemporary art trail
The VIAPAC guide, in French and Italian, is available in the Musée Gassendi and in the CAIRN Art Centre free of charge.
VIAPAC is a European-scale project connecting the towns of Digne-les-Bains in France and Caraglio in Italy, through the works of twelve contemporary artists on sites in natural surroundings or in historic buildings.
This project, under the artistic direction of Nadine Gomez, head curator of the Musée Gassendi in Digne, for the French side, and Patrizia Botallo for the Italian side, is supported by four institutional cultural bodies (two on each side of the border):
- Piedmont Regional Council
- Alpes de Haute-Provence General Council
- Marcovaldo cultural association
- Réserve Naturelle Géologique de Haute-Provence
A long-term collaboration for the development of a cross-border cultural area.
ERDF (the European Regional Development Fund) and particularly the INTERREG ALCOTRA programme (for Cross-border Cooperation in the Latin Alps), encourage and support cross-border cooperation projects concerning tourism, heritage and culture. Therefore the French and Italian institutional partners naturally cooperated from 2001 to develop, enhance and promote the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of the cross-border area. To take into account the local area and its population concerned by VIAPAC, twelve artists (seven on the French side and five on the Italian side of the border) are specially commissioned to permanently install twenty-four works of art along the route.
The works along this Route, all produced specially for the places where they are located, are veritable keys to understanding the identity of this lower Alpine area in an original way.
To make the public aware of contemporary art, VIAPAC encourages the wide audience to meet with current creative work in workshops attended by artists. A direct link can be established between the local people and the work. The collective constructions by Olivier Grossetête, monumental pieces of architecture in cardboard, made with the neighbouring primary schools, are a good example of this.
This ambitious programme is intended to provide a connection that is an asset for tourism, while also creating an artistic, cultural and educational connection.
The guide includes the works and biographies of the artists, as well as a route map, providing a panorama of what contemporary art can be today: intellectualised creations, works that can be interpreted on several different levels, playful works that require the spectator’s participation, but also figurative works that are quite simply what they show to the viewer and which impose themselves by their aesthetic beauty.