The Center Pompidou is continuing its export policy. After Metz, Malaga, Shanghai or Brussels, there will therefore be Jersey City. The Parisian museum of modern and contemporary art has forged a partnership with this city in the New York suburbs, to open an exhibition center there by 2024, the city and the museum announced on Friday, June 4.
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“The American continent was for us an objective of obvious interest”, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Serge Lasvignes, president of the Center Pompidou. “In the field of contemporary art, America is crucial”, not considering “We are completely imbued with American culture”.
Located on the west bank of the Hudson River, facing Manhattan, Jersey City is a former industrial city in full transformation since the 1980s. The partnership was born from a meeting with the elected officials of the city, through the intermediary of the Agence OMA, the architectural firm of Rem Koolhaas, explained Mr. Lasvignes.
“A somewhat virgin place”
“We did not call for tenders for an installation in the United States”, he confided “Honestly, for us, it is much more interesting to work with Jersey City, which is a little virgin place from this point of view, than to go to a place where the offer is considerable”, like New York. The American metropolis already has two major museums of contemporary art, the MoMA and the Whitney, supplemented by the contemporary art offer of the Metropolitan Museum and the Guggenheim.
In recent years, Jersey City has attracted an increasing number of artists, with the skyrocketing rents in New York. As with the previous partnerships forged by the Center Pompidou, it is the city that will take charge of the creation of the place, its operation and the associated costs. The Center Pompidou, which provides its engineering, brand and collections, will receive financial compensation, says Mr. Lasvignes.
An old tram station
Jersey City plans to house the new space – which will house visual arts, architecture, design and performing arts – in the Pathside Building, a building approximately 5,400 m2 built in 1912, formerly a tram station. The place “Is destined to become one of the most important cultural attractions in North America”, said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, in a press release.
Culture must act as ” a lever “ for “Enrich the image” from the city, “Developing a community and ensuring that people live better together”, according to Mr. Lasvignes. The project will thus also have a social dimension.
With these partnerships, explains the president of the center, “The strategy consists in not being a passive spectator, but in registering in this movement of globalization of contemporary art, by going to ourselves on a certain number of stages”.