We recently learned, with great sadness, the death of Jean-Marie Touratier, president of our association Transcultures Europe – Pépinières de Création in this cruel beginning of February 2021.

Since 2018, he had worked with constant volunteerism and intelligence both in the development of our new project in which he strongly believed, but also in the European Pepinieres for young artists in the last years of this structure, which has now disappeared and whose heritage important has nourished the recent European Pepinieres of Creation (under the umbrella of Transcultures Europe).

Associate professor of Modern Letters, Jean-Marie was a talented and prolific writer who had written in particular a Manual of Contemporary Art (1987) of reference followed by some fictions and many essays revealing often unpublished facets of Caravaggio, Géricault , Christian Boltanski, Ingmar Bergman or Andreï Tarkovski or art considered “degenerated” by the Nazis in Mauvais Sang until recently Marcel Duchamp.

These enlightened and enlightening nuggets were, for the most part, published by the Galilée editions that he had co-founded and whose remarkable editorial production he still regularly followed (he was appreciated by its authors, from Jean Baudrillard to Jacques Derrida, from Michel Onfray to Paul Virillo). His modesty in his intellectual achievements and his smile in the face of the turpitudes of life combined to make him a gentleman of mind and heart.

In the last lines of his last essay Le Légendaire de Marcel Duchamp (2020), he quoted “men are mortal, paintings too” before commenting on the master “perhaps if art engendered something other than glory with a glance he might have some chance of provoking further. That is to say, to live. To be alive for the living “.

Your gaze, your smile, your words and your pen will continue to accompany us, dear transcultural comrade.

We asked Patrice Bonnaffé who headed the European Pepinieres of young artists for 17 years to also testify on our mutual friend Jean-Marie Touratier as well as on Javier Brun (who died suddenly in the spring of 2020) who had occupied, with a beautiful implication (we will remember his natural distinction and his serene energy with which he has carried out a number of unifying cultural activities, including the multidisciplinary festival Periferias in his pretty and welcoming town of Huesca – in North Spain – of which he was a director of culture particularly open to international collaborations – we will also remember a beautiful edition in Huesca of the European project Park in progress – site specific artistic residences exchanges creation ending with the great  ‘Night of young European creation” – coordinated  in different countries, cities and green spaces by Pepinieres, of which he was an enthusiastic partner) the post of President of European Pepinieres of young artists before it was taken over by Jean-Marie Touratier.

*image Banner : FARCE Christian Boltanski – bk by Jean-Marie Touratier w/various works, 1979

Philippe Franck,
Director of Transcultures Europe – Pépinières de Création

J. Brun & P. Franck – Park in Progress – Huesca 2014

Adiós Javier Brun (1960-2020)
Former President of European Pepinieres for Young Artists (2013-2017)

Two very sad news touch us all and particularly touch me, the sudden disappearance of Javier Brun, which occurred in Huesca in his sixtieth year on May 17, 2020 and the death of Jean Marie Touratier on February 1, 2021, as a result of the Covid.

Both had been remarkable and highly esteemed Presidents of European Pepinieres for Young Artists.

Javier Brun director of cultural affairs for the city of Huesca, director of the dramatic center of the government of Aragon and creator of numerous festivals, was very committed to the development of a European cultural policy open to all.

A member of several large European networks, Javier Brun had given his city Huesca a unique and well-known position at European and international level. Member of the board of directors, then President of the European Nurseries for Young Artists, Javier Brun had involved Huesca with happy determination in numerous mobility programs such as MAP-Mobility Art Process, Artists In Context, M4m-M for mobility, Park in progress and Hito-turismo creativo en los pirineos which he had initiated. These programs reached several hundred young European artists.

Jean Marie Touratier, author, co-director of Galilée editions, inspector of artistic education at the Ministry of Culture director of Frac Midi Pyrénées, Advisor to the Rector of Paris at the Ministry of National Education, had provided his wise advice and his benevolent support for Pépinières since 2000, notably within the framework of the setting up of the Artists In Context program. Then he took over from Javier Brun in 2017.

During this period Jean-Marie Touratier had used all his conviction and his network to allow nurseries to obtain multi-year agreements within the framework of the Fabriques de la culture, a label developed by the Ile-de-France region. Jean Marie Touratier, was also involved in the establishment of Pépinières sur Montreuil in the former Méliès workshops, thus offering an 800 m2 plateau dedicated to creation and distribution.

Beyond their professional successes, each in their own way had genuine human qualities and great humility. Honest men with a true character, humanists sensitive to otherness, always attentive to artists, always benevolent, Javier Brun and Jean Marie Touratier have remained faithful to their word and to their friendship.

Now they are with us by spirit in our deepest thoughts, but they will be missed.

Our sensitive thoughts are also with their families and loved ones.

Patrice Bonnaffé