In these times of large urban communities and vast European regions, the need to set up active and dynamic regional cultural networks is obvious. Along with the greater Paris area, Rhône- Alpes is probably the French region with the highest number of cultural institutions, art centres, and galleries – a vast network whose density is reflected in the Biennale de Lyon. As long ago as 1985, Octobre des arts (October of the Arts) was a project whose aim was to bring together the most dynamic actors on the regional cultural scene in one show, an idea that was taken up and amplified by the Biennale from 2003 on, under the generic and unifying title Résonance. Every two years since then, the Biennale de Lyon has sought collaboration with art centres, galleries, cultural institutions and artists’ collectives in Rhône-Alpes by inviting them to submit projects. Final choice rests with the artistic director of the Biennale, with no limit on the number of projects. The
twin objectives are to associate all the essential elements of the regional scene with the Biennale and to provide greater visibility for them. Résonance is more than what might be called a ‘fringe’ and, rather than a mere cultural agenda, has become over the years a collective programme that brings together some very diverse areas (spaces, budgets, teams, and so on), not only in the field of contemporary art but also in literature, dance, theatre and music. The burgeoning of activity that has resulted is unique in the world of biennials. From thirty events in 2003, Résonance has grown in 2011 to more than 200 exhibitions, performances, concerts, projections and shows, presented in
many different ways (e.g. during the opening week of the Biennale, and as part of The Résonance Night). All the selected projects are described in a catalogue with a print run of 30,000. This dynamic network is now an integral part of the Biennale and one of its major platforms.
Focus was created in 2009 as part of Résonance. Its raison-d’être is to nurture specific projects in close cooperation with a number of institutions, particularly those dedicated to the emerging art scene.
Full programme available from 1 September 2013 on the Biennale website and in the Résonance guide distributed in all Biennale and partners venues.