Chair Arts, Society and Contemporary Change

The essential

This chair dedicated to the visual arts, sponsored by  Souleymane Bachir Diagne, associate member of the Institut d'études avancées, and supported by Beaux-Arts Nantes Saint-Nazaire, le lieu unique, the city of Nantes and the Institut d'études avancées, aims to highlight dialogues between :

  • north and south,
  • artistic research and the human and social sciences,
  • the worlds of research, creation, teaching and artistic dissemination.

Art allows us to reveal in a different way the contemporary mutations of our societies and the societal and environmental changes we are confronted with. Every two years, artists from the Global South are welcomed into this residency program to pursue their research and creation in a setting conducive to reflection and dissemination. 



The Chair supports the development of art research in dialogue with the humanities and social sciences, with a view to questioning contemporary changes in our societies.

By considering artistic practices in terms of research, the residency contributes to the emergence of new areas of research (practices and forms, working methods, production regimes, etc.) exploring societal and environmental changes through the intersection of disciplines.

It engages methodological questions and reflections on the nature of the knowledge embodied, produced and transmitted by these practices.

Profile and conditions

This residency takes place at the Institut d'études avancées over a six-month period from September to February, and offers an original framework compared with the usual residencies for artistic creation. By inviting dialogue with other researchers, this residency creates a space for intellectual exchange between different disciplinary and geographical horizons.

Drawing on a network of local partners, the residency also offers the opportunity to run a workshop for students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and to interact with the Nantes public at an informal gathering at Le Lieu Unique.

A call for applications is published every two years in the autumn for the following year.

The call for applications for the second residency, starting in October 2024, is now closed. 
The next call for applications for the 2026-2027 residency will be published in autumn 2025. 


Throughout the life of the Chair, and as the residencies progress, the following activities take place:

The artist in residence pursues his or her research and benefits from the framework offered to each resident.

Activities to promote, mediate and disseminate the work to a variety of audiences are organized:

  • to the Institute's residents within the framework of a seminar ;
  • Beaux-Arts students as part of one or more workshops (12 days in all);
  • to the general public as part of a conference or meeting.  

Production is not the aim of this residency, but the artist is nevertheless given a limited budget to carry out a project. 

Previous residents

Partners of the Arts, Society and Contemporary Change Chair

Contact the coordinator