Intermediary between artists and public


A portal to our region's contemporary art scene, Botox(s) facilitates numerous events and activities that encourage people to connect with today's artistic creativity

Ghastly, shocking, weird... today's art can sometimes seem hermetic! Faced with installations and performances plus an eruption of new materials, photography, images and sounds in exhibitions, many people are dubious. It isn't always easy for the general public to understand this new language and collectors may feel unsure about investing in these unknown fields. To facilitate understanding of this new scene, Botox(s) plays an important intermediary role throughout the year, with the Saturday Visitors initiative among its first pedagogical activities covering the Alpes-Maritimes.

Raising awareness

These contemporary-art tours are run one afternoon a month for up to 25 visitors, who are driven by minibus to see what various Botox(s) members are doing. What makes them especially interesting is that venue directors, exhibition curators, artists and intermediaries present the work to these visitors, making the tour a unique and sociable experience. "The idea is to give visitors keys to understanding so they then feel able to go it alone," explains Isabelle Pellegrini, Botox(s)'s salaried coordinator. Question­ing art's traditional premises and being tuned in to their society's preoccupations are essential filters for these artists. Along the same lines, Privilege Visits give already formed groups (firms, associations, travel agents) a chance to explore the art scene. Being able to discover several art venues in one day is much appreciated.

Big unifying events

The network's big annual event is Evening Visitors, when exhibitions, performances, projections and concerts are held in a whole variety of Nice venues, not necessarily specific to art. Including such places as Les Galeries Lafayette and the Agnès b. shop, these festivities decompartmen­talise art and present it to new eyes. After drawing 4000 visitors to 30 venues in 2013, this year's Evening Visitors, the seventh, has been extended to two days. Guided by its vocation of rais­ing public awareness, the collective also produces an annual art project: in 2011, walker-artists invited the public to hike the Alpes-Maritimes with them; in 2012, a dozen gifted newcomers spoke in gardens and car parks, on terraces and pavements, like at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London. The 2014 project, on-going right now, is Slowmo with artist Jean-Baptiste Farkas, for which each member of Botox(s) has to accomplish some slow action before the summer. Raising public awareness is seen as a long-term commitment here.