Artistic lab MEMENTO opts for a dialogue between contemporary art and tangible/intangible heritage to encourage a collective experience of creation.

MEMENTO was born from the desire to reawaken a former carmelite monastery, which has been closed for 10 years, through contemporary creation. Owned by the Conseil Départemental du Gers, this space, which is being constantly renovated, wishes to create an artistic dynamic on a territorial, national and international scale by associating itself with artists and cultural institutions of the current artistic scene. This former Carmelite monastery was refurbished in 1949 to house the departmental archives and then closed to await a future. In 2016, it became MEMENTO, a laboratory of contemporary artistic curiosities where artworks resonate with the atypical spaces of the site. This building, made up of several rooms, bears witness to the stigmata of time and makes MEMENTO a field of experimentation: an ecosystem between the spaces, the works and the visitors.
Indeed, MEMENTO is about rethinking the very notion of exhibition by focusing on the collective project within the heritage site. Thus, the building and its memorial charge (place of worship, place of archives) become the foundation of shared reflections. 

dsc05177.jpgPhoto : MementoDescription of the programme

Each year the structure organises a residency during the winter period to lead to the public opening of a group exhibition from May to October.  MEMENTO offers an immersion in the heart of a building to become part of a shared history where artistic community is based on meeting and experience. MEMENTO is a place of research, residencies and annual exhibitions dedicated to the circulation, awareness, experimentation and support of contemporary creation.
MEMENTO shares creation with the visitors through artistic and cultural education actions as well as concerts and meetings promoting current practices.
The year 2021 marks a new stage with an architectural reflection to rehabilitate the former Carmelite cells into a living space.

available means

- Grant of €5,000 divided equally between fees and production costs. This allocation can be adapted.
- Defrayal for transport and meal expenses is established for the duration of the residency.
- Accommodation is rented for the artist near the site.
- A work and creation space is made available at Memento
Artistic Director provides perspective and support to artists in the progress of their work.
Public relations officer also contributes to the accompaniment and implements specific actions with the public.
Stage manager provides technical support for the production of the work. 

Works created during the residency will be part of a collective exhibition imagined by the director based on MEMENTO's artistic line.

selection process

The structure does not organise a selection process and proceeds by invitation.


No format is imposed on the artists; the process is devised in collaboration with the artist and the artistic director according to the project.

obligations of the residents

The artists must respect the residency schedule and the date of the exhibition set-up. An agreement will stipulate the commitments of each party.
An exchange of time with the public relations officer will be requested to further develop the mediation programme with the public.

Actions towards the public

There is no obligation to meet with different audiences (school, non academic, etc.) unless it is part of the artist's approach to creating on site.
Public meeting is not an obligation but can be organised according to the artistic programme. It will be the subject of a separate budget.
As part of a specific programme to raise awareness of contemporary art, artistic education residencies may be scheduled. They will be part of a tacit agreement with the artist and the public relations officer, independently of the exhibition.


Espace Départemental Art contemporain
14 rue Edgar Quinet
F- 32000 Auch
T : +33(0)5 62 06 42 53