Interview with Franck Gautherot, the director of The Consortium Museum

The Consortium Museum is a contemporary art centre based in Dijon founded by Xavier Douroux and Franck Gautherot in 1982 by the non-profit Le Coin du Miroir, founded in 1977. It is one of the 3 key cultural institutions Congress participants will visit to immerse themselves in the Congress theme. 

Franck Gautherot

How has the idea of implemented a practice of diversification and multi-focal points of activities come into being when the institution was established?  

Franck Gautherot: Empiricism is the key word. No predicted strategy but a clear and daily vision of the situation has led to invent and build tools and tactics to respond. The multi-focal is a necessity according to the range of actions that accompany the basics: curating exhibition and producing new art works for it. Means publishing books, means producing films when the art goes to Hollywood (in terms of fame, social status and income!!!), and many others…

How do you perceive “diversity for sustainability” in the museum sector?

Franck Gautherot: Museums are cemeteries of corpses at the time of cremation and ashes. How diversity can be the new strategy? Museums could respond to digital, museums could still act like game players in today’s art world? No choice but a painful difficulty to create and get free of the bureaucratic models. The collaboration between the market and the academic issues is the only way to survive for public institutions. But are they able to? Not by now, I guess, that’s why the consortium museum as an independent institution could be a role model –modesty but arrogance– in the today figure. Diversity means global collaboration and centripetal and centrifugal forces in action. 

What are the development strategy and action model in practicing the diversity for the sustainable development of your institution?    

Franck Gautherot:  Strategy is invention. Flexibility is another word for that. We need to build new tools to improve. It means new structures –commercial ones, or cooperatives, or hedge funds, start ups; any kind of new structures to accompany and create development. R&D do not exist in museums, but it is a need to incorporate such in our future actions. Cultural development is part of some institutions plan but strategic R&D not yet. We do look for building such tools and teams.

Institutions are sustainable when the bureaucracy has recognized them as institutions. We didn’t apply for recognition by choice, to keep our independency and autonomy. But today the international and globalized world doesn’t allow such carefulness and requires new position embracing partnerships and business deals. Speed and quietness. Experience as a business tool. Cool as an attitude. Knowledge but judgement. Datas but analysis. Between black and white, there are all, not only the shades of grey, the colors and tones that need to be measured and balanced.

Points of interest for congress participants at The Consortium Museum

  • How has this institution since its beginning implemented a practice of diversification and multi-focal points of activities? 
  • How is the Consortium Museum a place where art is generated through exhibitions and production of art works?
  • Learn about the institution’s action model through the exhibition Pattern, Crime & Decoration and its other related activities: publishing company; film production company; and public art commissions
  • What is its development strategy and how does it use concrete cases and source models of development? 
  • What are the various ways that art related activities are appearing? (Prediction of the future taste and desires for new/re-enactment of past examples…)