Two questions for Jordane de Tyssandier d’Escous, Head of Corporate Communications BMW France.
Why do you sponsor the Arles festival?
BMW has supported contemporary art for forty years, photography for the last ten years and the Rencontres d’Arles for four. Supporting such a well known photography festival is an important part of the Group’s cultural sponsorship, the primary objective of which has always been to promote artistic creativity whilst maintaining a profound respect for artistic freedom. We hope that our support allows the Rencontres to continue its development and add value to its artistic choices under conditions we hope are more comfortable than if we were not here!
This sponsorship is part of the programme BMW France has been engaged in since 2003 through its partnership with the Nicéphore Niépce Museum in Chalon sur Saône, where our Residency takes place, and Paris Photo. The three pillars of our commitment to photography thus allow us to provide the artists who is awarded the Residency with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth project with the help of the museum and its magnificent laboratory, then to present this work in the form of an exhibition (that you can see at the Salle Henri Comte this year in Arles, then at Paris Photo next November) and a book published by Editions Trocadéro. We are thus committed to providing the artist with a space for reflection as well as a platform for the production and presentation of their work to the general public.
What is photography sponsorship for you?
First and foremost, I would say that private partnerships are able to provide additional funding to be added to public investment to allow the art of photography to continue to develop, to reflect on where it’s going and to try out new paths. Companies which choose to accompany institutions and artists in their development thus participate actively in this development. For BMW, the objective was to create a synergy between what both the company and photography are about: humanity, aesthetics and technical expertise. For us all three are intrinsically linked, whether this be in the discipline of automobiles or photography. In the spirit of this approach, it was vital as far as we were concerned for the company to allow the artists or institutions freedom in their creative and artistic choices. We truly believe that only total creative freedom makes innovation and progress possible, once again as much in photography as at our centre for R&D!