Rewriting the rules of the artists’ permanent presence in the 20th century

The artists’ permanent presence in the heart of a region is what 20th century cultural decentralization is all about.

As René Char used to say, it all comes down to passing down a heritage. Today in Valenciennes, we have decided to challenge once again the means to support artists under brand-new circumstances. First of all, the Hauts-de-France region is carving out its place in Europe. Circulation of artists has deeply evolved, aesthetic heritage has changed as well. The digital revolution is another reason why the relationship to knowledge, performance and the performing artist’s status has been disrupted.

The stage has become a place where one can experience the present moment, as opposed to massive digital media representation. The performing arts are putting up a fight and trying to escape from the background of every place they go to. The 21st century performing arts have become a witness of their time, both limiting and defining spaces of resistance so as to father their creativity. The stage is a new territory for a fleeting human community living in a vast open world, yet tempted by parochialism. Artistic creativity tries to stimulate open-mindedness in a world where new barriers are emerging.

However, resistance should not mean precariousness. With the European Creative Hub, we have decided to pamper supported artists and bank on benevolence and utopia.

The artists’ presence is determining. The relationship with them enables all the people involved to follow every step of the creative process and play a part in a great human experience. Rehearsals, workshops, show performed outside the phénix, unusual invitations, neighborhood parties, shows for young audiences… A sense of local collusion has emerged, enabling the performing arts to thrive in the right context of artistic sensitivity.

For the last few years, le phenix scène nationale has been helping young performers to rise – artists figuring among the shining lights of French artistic creation, very active at the heart of Europe. Building strong artistic teams, capable of coping with their work being shared nationally and abroad, is challenging and requires some serious reflection on the means to locally support greatly talented artists.

To answer all of these questions, le phénix scène nationale has come up with an innovative project linking together the various processes of production, presentation and communication – hand in hand with the artistic teams and the public partners.

Halory Goerger, Julien Gosselin and the XY company are the first ones to be supported : artists locally committed whose creative processes are challenged by these development issues. Next to these experienced artists, the Hub’s campus also supports about ten promising projects per year to enable them to cross invisible artistic barriers.

Located in a cross-border region and relying on european networks and international festivals, the european creative hub is destined through his campus to become a think tank, whose purpose would be to spot and guide young artists already shining internationally. Thus, Valenciennes may become the « Athens of the North region » again.

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