France-Atlanta, a two-week festival of science symposia, business workshops and cultural events, kicks off on Thursday, but the arts got a head start in August when French muralist JR installed three wheatpaste images in the Old Fourth Ward.
French cultural attaché David Kibler, who helped Living Walls bring in the TED-consecrated artist, emphasized the theme of public art in planning France-Atlanta. “Temporary public art is becoming a signature of Atlanta, and France has a strong tradition of street art — of theater and dance performed in public places, so it seemed like a good match,” he says.
This weekend, two dance troupes from Toulouse, Atlanta’s sister city and a hotbed of street art, will perform downtown as part of “Elevate.” Bistaki, working in collaboration with CORE Performance Company, will premiere “Cooperatzia.” Association Manifeste will perform twice, using video projections on the buildings around the Rialto Center for the Arts as well as dance in its final piece.
The festival will include two discussions of art and public place. Jacques Martial, director of Le Parc de la Villette, a high-design park cum art and science center, will lecture on “creative placemaking,” and a panel of French and American academics will discuss “Political and Cultural Expression in the Public Spaces of Paris and Atlanta.”
“The objective is to present a modern image of France,” says Kibler. “We want to show that French culture is not necessarily conservative and elitist.”
To that point, conceptual artist Laurent Grasso will have an exhibition at SCAD, and soloists from L’Orchestre National de Lorraine will appear in concert with Atlanta’s Sonic Generator.
For information on these and the many other events that are part of the festival, please see the website.
Information on these events and more can be found among Ed Hall’s highlights and on WABE’s website, Atlanta PlanIt – a click away on our calendar page.