In September 2021, a new showcase of French creativity opened in the United States. Its unusual residence format aims to boost France’s soft power worldwide.
The Villa Albertine, a Proustian name, like that of a famous Manhattan bookstore , is not new in itself. “The idea of creating such an institution in the United States arose when the Villa Kujoyama opened in Tokyo 30 years ago,” says director Gaëtan Bruel. “Olivier Poivre d'Arvor, then director of the Association française d'action artistique (AFAA, French Association for Artistic Action), started thinking about it in the 2000s but was stymied by the reality of country’s immense size.” The Villa Albertine was created in the middle of the pandemic and in record time: 18 months. The institution, which has just closed the call for applications for its second season, is a new model for residencies based not on the concept of a single place, like the Villa Medici…
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