Charles de Meaux,
When the National Museum of Modern Art/Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris invited Le Consortium (Dijon) to take part in the official celebrations for the fortieth anniversary of its foundation, we realized that Le Consortium was also about to celebrate its fortieth anniversary that same year: in fact, the two institutions were inaugurated in 1977. The ties between us were suddenly put in the spotlight. Ties naturally forged in the 1980s (when there was little interest for contemporary art) between the curators of the museum’s contemporary arts section (Alfred Pacquement, Catherine David, Bernard Blistène), that led Le Consortium, via its graphic arts agency CDM Graphisme, to be entrusted with the encyclopedic catalogue of the large-scale exhibition L’époque, la mode, la morale, la passion – Aspects de l'art aujourd'hui, 1977-1987 (21 May 1987–17 August 1987.)
In more recent decades, sincere friendship ties were forged between Le Consortium and the Centre’s president Jean-Jacques Aillagon (from 1996 to 2002), and the assistant director of the National Museum of Modern Art, Bernard Blistène (from 1996 to 2002), who invited Le Consortium to exhibit its collection at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1998 (leconsortium.coll, Tout contre l’art contemporain, 4 November-14 December 1998.)
In 1999, Serge Laurent, who ran the Performing Arts department at Le Consortium and oversaw the Festival Nouvelles Scènes between 1997 and 2002, also became the performing arts program coordinator for the National Museum of Modern Art/Centre Georges Pompidou.
These ties of work of friendship have remained strong under the Centre’s presidencies: with Bruno Racine (2002–2007), Alain Seban (2007– 2015), and Serge Lasvigne since 2015— naturally, there is no denying an old complicity with Bernard Blistène, the museum’s director since 2013.
It was Xavier Douroux—of course— who thought up the eccentric name for the exhibition celebrating the two institutions’ 40 years, Truchement: a kind of intermediation by a go-between, a translation. The specifications were in fact very simple: to bring together artists and artworks that attested to this long friendship. He was convinced that it was “through the intermediation/truchement of the artwork,” as much as that of individuals, that this friendship had endured. He hoped the exhibition might take “the form of a collection of short stories that pass through two protagonists who have taken the time and the opportunity to communicate through the truchement of art.” It was the last exhibition that he worked on and witnessed at Le Consortium—he passed in June 2017.