Vue de l'exposition "À toi de choisir ! L'exposition participative des enfants", du 31 mai au 10 novembre 2024, Bertrand Dezoteux, "En attendant Mars", 2017 © Adagp 2024, Paris ; photo : D.R.

The choice is yours!

The children's exhibition

Following the success of the 2022 participatory exhibition aimed at all audiences, Les Abattoirs, Musée - Frac Occitanie Toulouse is repeating the experience with a new target audience: children aged 3 to 11. Free in their judgements and emotions, nursery and primary school children are receptive to the world of art and the practices associated with it. From 20 December 2023 to 10 March 2024, children were able to vote in the Abattoirs' mediation space and on a dedicated website to see their favourite works exhibited from 30 May to 17 November 2024.

Following this vote, 232 children contributed to the choice of works to be exhibited.

The average age of the voters was 8. Most of them live in Toulouse and the Occitanie region, but this proposal managed to cross regional and national borders, reaching not only the inhabitants of Toulouse and its metropolitan area, but also Spain.

Taking into account the exhibition space and the size of the works, the first 22 works are presented on the 1st floor of Les Abattoirs, as part of an itinerary based on the major themes that emerge from this selection, such as the representation of the animal figure, the use of colour and sound creation. New dialogues emerge between the works and the artists, inviting visitors of all ages to discover the collection through a new prism.

With works by :

Vito Acconci, Olivier Beer, Carole Benzaken, Rémi Blanchard, Stéphane Calais, Luo Dan, Bertrand Dezoteux, Philippe Hortala, Lucie Laflorentie, Loïc Lucas, Flora Moscovici, Marie-Luce Nadal, Marianne Plo, Présence Panchounette, Agathe Pitié, Franck Scurti, Corinne Sentou, Béatrice Utrilla and Bertrand Arnaud, Andy Warhol, and objects from Burkina-Faso, Tanzania and Indonesia from the Daniel Cordier collection.

The project

This project aims to reach all children aged 3 to 11 in France. Les Abattoirs is providing educational material to explain what a work of art, a collection and an exhibition are, and what work goes on behind the scenes to prepare an exhibition. These educational kits for parents and teachers, and tutorials for manual activities, can be downloaded to accompany the process and have fun while discovering the art and world of Les Abattoirs. A free expression area allows children's views to be collected and shared within the exhibition. Young visitors to the exhibition are also invited to add their own words to the exhibition, adding their own emotions to the work through drawings, poems and texts.

Artistic and cultural education at Les Abattoirs

This new initiative completes the Abattoirs' offer for young people: "Doudous au musée" (crèche), workshops in the children's library (4/6 years), school holiday workshop courses (6/11 years), school classes for self-guided or guided tours, and more recently, adult and children's workshop tours. For older children, these activities are complemented by offers for secondary schools, such as "L'art en boîte", which offers an educational kit based around a work of art, and the "Un établissement, une œuvre" programme, which aims to hang works from the collections in schools in the Occitanie region, with a view to developing mediation and work around art. The Abattoirs' visual mediators offer a range of workshops for children aged 3 to 11, and observe how sensitive the youngest visitors are to the works. They're keen to hear explanations, and get fully involved in appropriating what they see. Involving them in the process of creating an exhibition, by offering them the chance to choose the works they prefer and want to see exhibited, is an engaging and generous way for Les Abattoirs to work.

How works are pre-selected

Les Abattoirs opened in 2000. For this establishment dedicated to modern and contemporary art, works from different collections have been brought together. In addition to the expected creations - paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, drawings, prints - the reserves are full of curiosities such as a bed, a caravan, the protocol of a work in decomposition, delivery chairs and oil drums. The collections are our common heritage and a narrative of our recent history. The writing of this story is renewed and refined through annual acquisitions, donations and deposits, as well as rediscoveries, restorations, exhibitions and the views of artists, professionals and visitors, all of which make it a living and richly meaningful material.

The works made available to children are selected according to various criteria.

Availability of the work

A work of art can circulate a great deal: the greater its reputation, the more it can be requested, loaned and exhibited, which reduces its availability. The work of the Fonds régional d'art contemporain (Frac) draws on its collections to put on a wide range of exhibitions across the region, in places as diverse as schools, nursing homes and prisons.

Museums, art centres, libraries and cultural or public establishments can also ask us for one or more works for a thematic or monographic exhibition. Les Abattoirs itself regularly borrows works from other museums, galleries and private collectors.

The state of conservation of the work

Some works are very fragile because of the materials used in their conception, but also because of their age. Preserving them helps to preserve the memory of an artist or an artistic movement, for example, and is one of the main missions of a museum.

Parity

As a result of the history of collections, most museums have a greater proportion of works by male artists. For several years now, Les Abattoirs has been significantly enriching its collections with works by women artists. This selection is intended to reflect the desire to present exhibitions to the public that respect parity in artistic creation as far as possible.