For the past 20 years, the building of l’ancienne gare marchande, or the old freight loading station, in Ablon (just 15 minutes away from the centre of Paris, France), has served as an atelier for artists from all over the world.
Australian band Dirty Three, as well as their front man Warren Ellis; French band Ez3kiel, and Croatian band Darko Rundek & his Cargo Orchestra (to name just a few) have all chosen the facilities to write, record and perform their music. Numerous visual, video and performing artists, writers, photographers, and designers have also been drawn to this unique creative space. The venue even hosted a birthday party for the esteemed French philosopher Alain Badiou, with the help of his colleague Jacques Rancière.
Ablon is close to Paris’ city centre, yet still completely isolated.It has a history as a birthplace for exquisite art and a thoroughly welcoming ambience. Its stone walls create an amazing acoustic. And, handily, there are no neighbors to complain about noise!
Clear and Present Danger
For the last two decades, the French branch of SKROZ, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit under French law, has been leasing the building from the French Rail Network (RFF). In the last X years, maintenance costs have grown so high that SKROZ can no longer both care for the venue and offer it to artists at affordable fees.
Unless we can swiftly make l’ancienne gare marchande self-sustainable (and by “swiftly,” we mean within the next two months), the venue will be either torn down or converted into commercial storage. Yet another valuable and historic arts space will be lost.
We are now seeking vital support to not only preserve the Gare d’Ablon, but to turn it into a residency venue that will enable artists from all over the world to have a space in Paris, the arts capital of Europe, that can be used for both work and cultural events.
In order to achieve that, we need to renovate and refurbish the space. It has to be made habitable as well as fun to work in. The necessary permits must be applied for and obtained. Most importantly, we hope to build a network of supporters that will enable us to acquire the building from its current owner.
With your help, Ablon’s currently single 100m2 large and 8m high atelier, with separate kitchen and bathroom, would turn into a two-tiered double bedroom residency with a 100m2 of co-working space, sound studio and a garden to match.
All improvements will be done to the highest environmental standards, and the mezzanine will be built exclusively out of re-usable wooden blocks in to create both warm & functional environments, as well as keep the unique acoustics of the space.
Every three months, there will be an open call for applications, with successful applicants being offered a residency in Ablon, with lengths varying from a week to a month.
The residents would then be able to live and work in Ablon, just a 15 minutes RER C ride away from Place Saint Michel in Paris. The atelier is a delightful environment for workshops, presentations, meetings and social gatherings.
Furthermore, we will create a communication platform and a newsletter for the Art Residency Station @ Ablon alumni, so our past and future tenants can share both their work and plans, creatingnew partnerships on their own.
Not All Contributions Need to be $!
We are excited and thankful that you’ve read this far. We are immensely grateful if you chose to donate to our vision. If you can’t, we’re very grateful for your interest – and we ask you to please help us get the word out!
Please like us on Facebook:
Please follow us on Twitter:
Please follow us on Instagram:
Pass the word along about our Indiegogo campaign using its share tools!
And, Thank You.