Database / Cité Internationale des Arts


Cité Internationale des Arts

France / Paris
Established 1965

The Cité Internationale des Arts is intended to provide short or long stays for professional artists who want to develop an artistic work in France.The Cité Internationale des Arts is a foundation directed to the public benefit since 1965.

It is related to a vast network of partners and associates. Its founders include a large number of States, schools, institutes, universities and ministries from close to 53 countries all across the world. Three of its historic founders and key partners are the City of Paris, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The facilities of the Cité are divided between two locations in Paris. One site is located at 18 rue de l’Hôtel de Ville including 288 individual workshops in the heart of the Marais district, a dynamic quarter swarming with art galleries and a favourite destination for Parisians. Another site, located at 24 rue Norvins, is composed of several buildings in a large garden in Montmartre and has 38 individual workshops. Montmartre was for many years a focal point for artists over the world.

Who’s Been There

Esther Lu
  • A visit to a home exhibition curated by Loïc Le Gall. 13 Oct, 2018.
  • I was invited to a dinner at local curators Yoann Gourmel and Elodie Royer’s home. 4 Jan 2019.
  • I conducted the Sci-fi workshop Lemon at the studio in Cité des arts. Event documentation. 4 Dec, 2018.
  • I conducted the Sci-fi workshop Lemon at the studio in Cité des arts. Event documentation. 4 Dec, 2018.
  • I conducted the Sci-fi workshop Lemon at the studio in Cité des arts. Event documentation. 4 Dec, 2018.
  • Open studio/party, 20 Dec, 2018.
  • Open studio/party, 20 Dec, 2018.
  • A random gathering with local curators Grégory Castéra, Jennifer Teets, and more new friends. 11 Oct, 2018.
  • It’s practically my office during the residency at Cité des art: Bibliothèque de l’institut national d’histoire de l’art—the most beautiful art library in Paris. 2018.
Esther Lu is a curator and writer with a background in literature, art history, activism and curatorial studies. She is interested in formulating conceptual ways of seeing and discursive events crossing art and reality. Many of her projects focuses on interplays of sensibility, body, institution and memory, driven by the curiosity to explore human conditions, boundaries of knowing and how art embodies and exceeds our imagination to address various concerns toward humanity, culture and relevance of life.

Esther was the director of Taipei Contemporary Art Center from 2015 to 2107, and the curator of This is not a Taiwan Pavilion — collateral event in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. She has curated a number of international exhibitions and workshops in Asia and Europe. Her recent curatorial practice involves creating co-learning and innovative mediation strategies for professional workshops and audience experience.

The residency at Cité des Arts was absolutely a precious opportunity for me to re-organize and re-orientate my curatorial practice as well as interest after a long period of intense work entangled with daily operation in an art institution. During this tranquil period of exploration in Paris, I resumed to reading and writing again, expanding new experiments with text while conducting various conversations with artists. Following my previous experiences learnt from conducting workshops, creative methodologies of collaborating artists and reflections upon art history, I began to dive into the dialectic space that was generated in between artistic production and pursuit—whether in content or form, bridging my inner world and situated reality in a fresh perspective. The key professional development for me during my residency was to model some “exhibition scores” based on my research in the 20th century art history and personal curatorial practice, and these produced work would be later applied in my future presentation.

There were three hundred studios at Cité des Arts, housing international artists from all over the world as a mini UN community. The French curator association had their office there as well, organizing professional meetings on a monthly basis. Such vibrant environment did provide many chances to meet new friends and the local professionals, and I also grabbed my chance to explore some local scene, visiting less mainstream sites, studios and spaces in the extended network to learn more about the ongoing events and trends in art, observing the reality of culture production. There were endless cultural contents offered by the city, and it was a challenge to balance the active social life and the progress of personal research/work. How to be creative to acquire resource and turn it into a sustainable capital within a short span of time was certainly a joyful task.