Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Mélanie Bouteloup (Bétonsalon, Paris) on Hybrid Spaces

Art in America Guide

August 6, 2019

We strongly believe in the generative potential of spaces where heterogeneous—and even conflicting—practices and positions can come together. —Mélanie Bouteloup, director of Bétonsalon Centre d’art et de recherché, Paris
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DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Mélanie Bouteloup (Bétonsalon, Paris) on Hybrid Spaces

“We strongly believe in the generative potential of spaces where heterogeneous—and even conflicting—practices and positions can come together.”
Established in 2003, Bétonsalon Centre d’art et de recherche has been located on the campus of the Université Paris Diderot since 2007. Collaborations with that institution include the Académie Vivante program, a research laboratory located within the university’s Epigenetics and Cell Fate unit. In 2016 Bétonsalon opened a second space, Villa Vassilieff, and launched the Pernod Ricard Fellowship, which supports residencies for four international artists, curators, and researchers each year.
Bétonsalon was founded sixteen years ago by a group of artists and curators. From the start, we were interested in giving artists who did not have gallery representation an opportunity to show their work. In Paris at that time there were many museums but very few alternative or artist-run spaces—perhaps only two or three. We also recognized that the discourse around the art shown in major French institutions was very Eurocentric. We decided that part of our role would be to challenge that Eurocentrism and give visibility to contemporary artists from non-Western cultures.
In France, we have a lot of young people who feel marginalized by the country’s institutions, who don’t see their culture and their experience reflected in them, young people who feel that they are not considered French. We wished to question the ideas and knowledge that are produced and disseminated in universities and museums, as well as in the culture at large, and to reflect, in the projects that we support, the complexity of experience of those artists and that audience.
For us, it was important not just to work against, but to work with. We really wanted to operate within the institutional system, to see how we could work behind the scenes—for example, by inviting artists to come and do research in museums. A lot of curators at institutions are willing to collaborate with us in that way on specific projects.
Then, when we relocated to the campus of the university, we thought it would be an opportunity to engage with many different disciplines. There was no art department there, but we connected with the literature and hard sciences departments and met some teachers who were interested in experimenting in their classes.
We strongly believe in the generative potential of spaces where heterogeneous—and even conflicting—practices and positions can come together. We currently work on a project-by-project basis with local, national, and international organizations, including schools, museums, and galleries; we organize exhibitions, seminars, roundtable discussions, and conferences; we offer residencies to artists, curators, and researchers.
This past spring, for example, we had in residence the photographer Mimi Cherono Ng’ok from Kenya. She wanted to experiment with film, so we not only helped her produce a new moving-image work, but organized visits to film archives in Paris and meetings with writers and filmmakers. This is what I’m currently focused on, more so than creating shows—how can we support artists in such a way that they can test new ideas and new materials and take a bit of time for research? How can we introduce them to a network of academics and arts professionals so they can maybe come back later and infiltrate our cultural landscape?
I think audiences today want not only to look at a finished object but to share a moment of thinking, of debating. What we try to do is open our space to this kind of activity through events associated with our exhibitions. I’m really impressed by the fact that more and more people want to participate in these events.
Now, however, our staff is spread very thin. If you work in network mode, the more you expand your network, the more people and the more conversations you need to keep up with. Clearly, we need to recalibrate, either by doing fewer projects or less ambitious ones, or by hiring more, and more specialized, staff.
We are a bit of an exception in the French cultural landscape because only 30 percent of our funding is public. We make up the rest from a wide variety of other sources, including grants, co-commissions, and private sponsorships. Our main sponsor is Pernod Ricard, thanks to whom we were able to open a second space, the Villa Vassilieff, which is funded by Pernod Ricard and the City of Paris. This kind of public/private collaboration is quite new in France, because most of the cultural institutions in France are publicly funded.
For us, though, things are different. When we were founded, there was a great deal less public money available. We thought, either we do nothing, or we just open and see how it goes. We’ve raised a lot of money and developed a program, created residencies, opened a second space, hired a larger team with better salaries, and developed a network of collaborators. But we are at a point now where we are going to have to select our main partners and work only with them. At the moment, we are in discussions with them to see how we might take the next step.
One thing that is important is we never compromise. No one has ever told me I needed to do this or I should do that. This is something that is very rare today, and I am very conscious of that.

Concept Cars Chrysler Surprised The World With

23 Concept Cars Chrysler Surprised The World With In The 90s

The Chrysler brand name is one of the most well-known in the world and with good reason. Many of the Chrysler nameplates around the world and domestically have been some of the most historic cars to roam our roads. Leading the pack in terms of design in the most recent decades, Chrysler has steadily been trying to improve its brand images as well as the quality of its vehicles long term.
Many of the 90s concept cars that came out of Chrysler were way ahead of their time. Props need to be given to the designers at Chrysler, who have given us such vehicles as the current Dodge Charger and the one of a kind Magnum wagon.
Nevertheless, there have been many memorable Chrysler concept cars that did not make it into production as well. But, we are going to be taking a look at the one of a kind concept cars that helped to revitalize a struggling company. These rides kept consumers pouring into the showrooms for the last few decades as Chrysler reinvents their core brands into car companies that the customers can connect with.
In addition to making strides with the Jeep brand, there has also been a good level of progress within the Chrysler brand itself, including the revolutionary new Chrysler Pacifica minivan which continues to be a sales success. Let’s take a look at this one of a kind concept cars that Chrysler released during the 90s.
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Via: Bing
During the nineties, Chrysler was riding high with their Jeep brand, hot on the heels of the successful Jeep Grand Cherokee and the newly redesigned Wrangler, the brand was on top of its game.
The Jeep Jeepster 1998 is a concept that takes the open air beach approach to a new level. Combining the love of the beach with the open air convertible top that most Jeep owners are in love with, it created what was one of the most sought-after concept cars of the nineties.


Via: Bing
Much different than the car that was released a decade later, the Chrysler 300M Concept (1991) was an interesting take on the sports sedan market and what the company wanted to do with it.
The Cab Forward sedan trio from Chrysler was way ahead of their time when they went into production, and the 300M was the ultimate by-product of these vehicles when it went into production. The Chrysler 300M Concept (1991) was a beautiful car to look at, but nothing really more to that since it wasn't similar to the production model.


Via: Bing
Perhaps one of the more compelling Chrysler designs of the decade, the Chrysler Atlantic Concept (1995) was an interesting concept car that took a lot of notable features and brought them into a conceptual design.
The Chrysler Atlantic Concept (1995) was not boring to look at in any aspect, and this bodes well for the overall design. It is interesting to see where Chrysler was heading design wise during this time period as the brand has always specialized in design and innovation of new vehicles.


Via: Bing
Where do we start? The Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept (1993) was one of the coolest Chrysler concepts of the early nineties. You can really tell that the designers had fun thinking up what this car should look like, and the finished product is a real testament to that.
Although Chrysler never hinted at the car being put into production, the finished product was light years ahead of the competition in terms of design and style. This made for a pretty unique car, to say the least, that stood out from the crowd.


Via: Bing
When it comes to creating a super car, not every automaker can do it right, and the Chrysler group decided to do something different with the Dodge Viper.
The Dodge Viper 1989 concept was one of the few concept cars that utilized a V-10 engine, and this tended to give a lot of automotive journalists doubt. However, Dodge did go ahead and release the car, even with the V-10 engine which was relatively new at the time - making for a memorable driving experience like no other.


Via: Bing
Finally, the Dodge Big Red Truck Concept (1998) was an interesting semi-truck take on the production Dodge Ram model, in what ultimately became the current Ram Chassis Cab.
The Dodge Big Red Truck Concept (1998) was a big and beautiful semi-truck inspired design that looked far more beautiful than what many people gave it credit for. It gave the Dodge Ram a serious advantage against the outdated GM models at the time, which were slated for a redesign in the 2000 model year.


Via: Bing
Plymouth was at a standstill during the early nineties, with a popular minivan that was selling very well in the Voyager, while the rest of the cars in the division were dated or unimaginative.
The Plymouth Voyager III 1990 was a concept that took the generic Voyager minivan and converted it into a larger or smaller car depending on the needs of the driver. To this day there still has not been a concept of this magnitude, and that is a pretty cool thing in the automotive industry where innovation is everything.


Via: Bing
The Chrysler 300C has been one of the most successful Chrysler models to roll off of the showroom floor, but the model actually begins its humble roots in 1998 as a concept car.
The Chrysler Chronos 1998 was a one of a kind concept that took all of the innovation that Chrysler had developed for the sedan market and put it into one sleek and very innovative design that was far ahead of its time. It gave the car a one of a kind retro design.


Via: Bing
One of the more popular concepts of the nineties released by Chrysler was the Dodge T-Rex, a unique six-wheel off-road machine that proved quite popular with the crowds. This is a first of its kind concept that hadn’t really been seen up to this point, although let's face it, the market for a six-wheel drive truck is probably slim to none.
The Dodge T-Rex was very unique though and the automotive press circuit got a kick out of it. That got the Ram brand name swirling around the room.


Via: Bing
Dodge had already released the Viper, which was one of the world's fastest sports cars at the time and then they decided to release another interesting concept called the Venom.
The 1994 Dodge Venom was a unique design that was completely its own and nothing about this fire spitting car was run of the mill. As one of the fastest sports concepts at the time, the 1994 Dodge Venom was a little more than your average show car. Dodge wanted to keep it that way thus the car never made it to production.


Via: Bing
Released on the heels of the popular Pronto concept, which ended up becoming the PT Cruiser, the Plymouth Pronto Spyder was a unique concept that utilized a retro design theme. This seemed to be the direction that Chrysler was going to take Plymouth before its demise.
Thus, the Plymouth Pronto Spyder ended up becoming the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible many years later after the concept had already hit the streets. The Plymouth Pronto Spyder was a one of a kind design and one that really created a notable brand.


Via: Bing
What was the precursor for the immensely popular PT Cruiser, the 1997 Plymouth Pronto was a step above the current designs at the time and the car proved to be a very popular concept.
Using the same type of retro-inspired theme that VW did with the new Beetle, the 1997 Plymouth Pronto was an immediate smash hit and could have been the saving grace for the Plymouth brand if Chrysler had not pulled the plug on it so prematurely. The 1997 Plymouth Pronto was a definite bright spot at Chrysler during the nineties.


Via: Bing
In what ultimately became a roadster, the Chrysler Crossfire Concept (2001) was an interesting two-seater that looked to inject some juice into the struggling Chrysler lineup at the time.
While the concept was an amazing looking vehicle in every aspect, it did have some shortcomings that made for some questions when it came to the production model. The actual production car was a beautiful looking ride but it was built on rehashed parts from Mercedes-Benz that had already been around the block.


Via: Bing
Chrysler was definitely trying to ignite some type of excitement during the nineties as you can tell by the string of cars that made their ways onto the concert circuit. Another interesting model was the Chrysler Java Concept (1999), which offered an innovative looking design and one of a kind look into what Chrysler was capable of doing.
The Chrysler Java Concept (1999) was a fun to drive little sportster similar to the Prowler in many aspects, but the Java never made it into production.


Via: Bing
Another innovative design that would have made for one heck of a sports sedan was the Chrysler Citadel Concept (1999), an innovative looking concept that took Chrysler design philosophy to a whole new level of refinement.
Generally, a concept car wouldn’t feature this depth of design or team input, but the Chrysler Citadel Concept (1999) was a one of a kind vehicle that looked to take the sports sedan segment by storm. Although the Chrysler Citadel Concept (1999) never made it into production, the concept was a very interesting sedan, to say the least.


Via: Bing
Although there was a production Volkswagen model using the same name released, later on, the Chrysler Phaeton Concept (1997) was another innovative sedan concept that was released in 1997 and really showcased the advancements that the company had made in the production of luxury sedans.
The Chrysler Phaeton Concept (1997) was a big and beautiful sedan to say the least, powered by one of the leading Chrysler engines at the time. Engineers on the project worked hard to make sure that it was aerodynamic.


Via: Bing
In what actually became the LHS production model, later on, the Chrysler LHX Concept (1996) was a combination of style and substance that created one of the most beautiful concept cars at the time.
The Chrysler LHX Concept (1996) was bold and beautiful, featuring a very aerodynamic design which built on Chrysler's Cab Forward design philosophy. The Chrysler LHX Concept (1996) was actually one of the more popular company concepts at the time and ended up becoming one of the better selling models.


Via: Bing
Although the production model of the Cirrus looked nothing like this concept, the Chrysler Cirrus Concept was still an interesting concept to say the least. It offered a look into what the compact Chrysler sedan could have been, and where the designers wanted to take it.
The Cirrus was based on the Stratus. Although the concept is nothing like either production car, the Chrysler Cirrus Concept was an interesting design theme to say the least and probably would have made for an exciting car.


Via: Bing
The earliest precursor to the Mega Cab model that we saw in 2007, the Dodge MaxxCab Concept (2000) was an interesting take on where the one of a kind truck could go. One of the main complaints that many consumers had with the pickup truck was a cramped interior, and thus the automakers began to look at ways on how to achieve more room inside the cab.
The Dodge MaxxCab Concept (2000) was an interesting way to look at it, and the design was downright cool coupled with the already popular Ram.


Via: Bing
Based on the legendary Power Wagon model, the Dodge Power Wagon Concept (1999) was a look at how the Ram 1500 would look with a whole lot of pep in its step. The Dodge Power Wagon Concept (1999) was downright awesome to look at, and we think that this was one of the best concepts of the nineties to come out of Dodge.
The Dodge Power Wagon Concept (1999) also took a more powerful engine and gave the truck some serious heavy duty towing capabilities, which all factored together for a winning combination.


Via: Bing
What looked to be the next generation of the Dodge Intrepid, the Dodge Intrepid ESX3 Concept (2000) was an interesting concept to say the least. Although the Intrepid never made it to another generation since it was replaced by the Charger sedan, it was interesting to see that the company still had a lot of faith in their Cab forward sedan.
It managed to bring a design innovation and one of a kind appeal. The Dodge Intrepid ESX3 Concept (2000) was one of the more notable concepts to come out of Chrysler.


Via: Bing
Chrysler single-handedly invented the minivan segment, right? So, why not make it cool. That is exactly what the company designers did with the Dodge Caravan R/T Concept (1999), which was a race inspired minivan model like nothing that you had ever seen before.
Going for the family market that wanted a van which wasn’t boring to look at, the R/T had a more aggressive stance and some exterior features that made the van look downright awesome at the time. Dodge did end up introducing an R/T variation of the van later on in the life cycle, although it wasn’t as cool as the concept.


Via: Bing
In what actually became the Charger sedan production model, the Dodge Charger R/T Concept (1999) was a sleek and beautiful sedan that was powered by the first of the new generation Hemi engines. This one of a kind concept was unlike any family sedan that had been seen at the time. That just goes to show you that even a boring car segment can be made exciting, as the production model continues to do till this day.
The Dodge Charger R/T Concept (1999) is also notable for the new design cues that you see on Dodge models to this day.
Sources: Motor Trend
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