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For the private preview of the exhibition “Lost in LA”

Published on December 3, 2012
Speech of Ambassador François Delattre

Los Angeles, CA, November 28, 2012

Councilmember Tom LaBonge - thank you for being with us this evening and for your commitment to cultural exchanges between L.A. and France,
Dear Mrs Garay,
M. le président du Palais de Tokyo, M. Jean de Loisy,
M. Marc-Olivier Wahler, Commissaire de l’exposition,
Messieurs et madame les membres du Board de la fondation FLAX,
Monsieur Gérald du Manoir, Monsieur Lionel Sauvage, Monsieur Mark Tingolf, Madame Elisabeth Forney,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

It’s an immense pleasure and a great honor for our Consul General in Los Angeles Axel Cruau, for the Embassy Cultural Counsellor Antonin Baudry, for their team and for me to be here with you tonight, in the wonderful “Los Angeles Municipal Gallery”, on this very special occasion.

(Photo: Aritsts Nathan Hylden and Heather Cook, curator Marc-Olivier Wahler, Ellen Wahler, and artist Luc Tuymans. Courtesy FLAX, France Los Angeles Exchange.)

We have gathered here this evening to open a new chapter in the fast-growing artistic relationship between France and Los Angeles, one of the cultural capitals of the world.

For the next 5 months, Angelenos and French artists, curators, students, professors, gallerists, and art lovers will work and dream together to develop this interaction of artistic culture through the great and innovative project Ceci n’est pas…

More than 30 collaborations, 40 art institutions involved, 70 events and over 100 artists will come together to encourage new dialogues between our two countries and our two cultures. And we can be sure it will lead to new long-term relationships, hopefully as strong and fruitful as the ones established here by Marcel Duchamp, Nikki de Saint Phalle or Guy de Cointet.

Tonight, we have the privilege to enjoy the preview of this amazing Lost (in LA) exhibition everyone in town is talking about. This is the grand opening of the French cultural season, Ceci n’est pas…
(This is good for our egos… and you know the traditional and well-known French modesty…)

The credit for this outstanding show should largely go to its talented curator, Marc-Olivier Wahler, who is widely acclaimed worldwide, and who has successfully brought together so many artists from different times, backgrounds and places.

This exhibition is also a great example of a successful Franco-Californian cooperation between the France Los Angeles Exchange foundation, Palais de Tokyo and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural affairs.

Let me pay tribute to Gérald du Manoir and Lionel Sauvage, the founders of the FLAX foundation, and to its executive director, Elisabeth Forney.

Largely thanks to your foundation, the doors of cultural exchanges between our two countries are wide open here in Los Angeles, and I am sure it will remain so and keep expanding.

I would also like to acknowledge Jean de Loisy, President of Palais de Tokyo, a French cultural institution which expertise and influence go far beyond the French borders.

And finally, let me express my gratitude to the city of Los Angeles and its Department of Cultural affairs.

Dear Olga Garay, thank you so much for your kind words but also for your passion and dedication to the arts and your long-lasting relationship with France – I could even say your love affair with my country.

You are a distinguished Chevalier des arts et letters, and I want to tell you how proud and happy we are to be able to work so closely with you and the whole department of Cultural affairs of the city of Los Angeles.

So ladies and gentlemen,
My warmest thanks again to each and everyone of you, and I wish you all a great preview and a great evening with a nice French touch.

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