Découvrez le "Réseau Lalan"


The birth of the "Lalan Network" (Réseau Lalan) is linked to an encounter of extraordinary people: Lalan and Marcel Van Thienen. This artistic couple of national and international renown divides its time between Paris and the south of France. Created in September 1995, the "Lalan Network", a local cultural organization, first and foremost gives homage to the memory of a painter of Chinese origin who left his name as a legacy: Lalan, also a choreographer, musician and Pygmalion for a few young artists from Bormes and Lavandou (in France's Var region). Wife of the painter Zao Wou-Ki, Lalan took part in Paris's artistic Bohemian life in the 1950s before remarrying the sculptor and musician Marcel Var Thienen in 1958.
After the tragic accident that took Lalan's life in April 1995, Marcel Van Thienen asked Raphaël Dupouy, a Lavandou photographer and former student of the school of Beaux-Arts de Saint-Etienne, to continue the dynamics of his late wife. Thus was born the "Lalan Network" whose objective is to encourage cultural exchanges and promote artistic creations in all forms, in order that local culture "increases in speed" (Lalan). Why the name "Network"? "In reference to the informal connections, the web of connections that we hope to weave among people", explains the president, Dupouy. And what better image than a "network" to evoke this "movement of resistance, of the vital struggle against the uniformity and weakening of our collective imagination!". In fifteen years, more than 200 artists have shown or presented their work in the Bormes-Lavandou area.
Among the numerous projects organized by the Lalan Network are: the "Bowl of Art", a contemporary art event; literary meetings and readings; individual and group exhibits (photography, paintings, etc.), conferences (Kenneth White, foreign Medicis prize); writing workshops; colloquiums (Homage to André Gide, Jean Cocteau and Raymond Radiquet, etc.); homage to great painters (Courmes, Van Rysselberghe, Cross, Bénézit, Peské, Les Russes de La Favière, Troin, etc.). In order to extend its activities beyond the county and region, the "Lalan Network" publishes a newspaper, "Figure Libre", on a regular basis. This communications tool allows the organization to keep up its ever-growing network of contacts and to promote the region by giving it a cultural, modern and ambitious image.
The "Lalan Network" has also been working for ten years to draw attention to the rich but little known cultural past of Bormes-Lavandou and the surrounding area. Since the neo-Impressionist Henri-Edmond Cross en 1891, numerous painters, writers and musicians have spent time on its coast: Théo Van Rysselberghe, Paul Signac, Maurice Utrillo, Auguste Renoir, Ernest Reyer, Nicolas de Staël, André Gide, Jean Cocteau, Raymond Radiguet, Paul Morand, Paul Valéry, Marie Laurencin, Émil-Alfons Rheinhardt, Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Mann, Joseph Kessel, Jean Anouilh, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Tristan Tzara, Henri Michaux, Alfred Courmes, etc. The newspaper "Figure Libre" regularly presents various episodes of this exploration.