Rene Wanner's Poster Page

News: The poster festival 2016 in Chaumont (FR) has been cancelled
News received from Jean Paul Bachollet

Leftover publicity for the festival of a previous year, on a wall outside Chaumont

Abandoned shop in the center of Chaumont, the windows plastered with festival publicity

The following information is based on an article that appeared in the Chaumont daily l'affranchi on December 4, 2015 under the heading (in french) Graphic design: The bullshit (and the festival in 2016) is stopped.
As for the International Center of Graphic Design (CIG), everybody agrees with the Mayor of Chaumont that the statutes don't make any sense.
I took the pictures during the last festival on May 31, 2015, and wrote the following text.

The famous traditional Chaumont poster festival was run by an association, with heavy government support, until September 30, 2015, when the City of Chaumont ordered the association to hand over control to the newly founded Centre International de Graphisme CIG. Also the City did not renew the contract with Etienne Hervy, the art director, who was actually in charge of the festival since 2011 and whose term runs out at the end of the year. Despite good intentions to fix the many problems that the poster festival circus is having today and to bring in some fresh air, his tenure had been a disaster, decimating reputation, participation and attendance.

The new International Center of Graphic Design is housed in a building in the center of Chaumont, opposite the railway station, replacing the former french National Bank. The building is currently under construction, the opening should take place sometime in May 2016, accompanied by a "special event". A director for the new institution has not yet been found however. The funding for its operation is grossly insufficient, and the organizational structure resembles that of a public utility like a gas plant, with plenty of presidents, directors, chairpersons, delegués, overseeing and steering and planning and coordinating committees, regulating bodies and so on, rather than that of a leading and exemplary cultural institute of international standing that it hopes to become. As l'affranchi dryly points out, the future director is not even required to speak english.

As time was running out with discussions, the association and Etienne Hervy pointed out that they can not simultaneously organize a festival and the opening of CIG with the limited time and budget they have, and the City of Chaumont promptly canceled the festival for 2016. "We avoid a catastrophe, and it will give us more time to re-tie the connection with the population of Chaumont" was the official explanation, an euphemism for the sad fact that the initially enthusiastic popular support for the festival has been squandered over the years.

Meanwhile, Chaumont is not doing well: The once lively and touristic historic old town looked as deserted as the poster exhibition halls during my last visit. Many shops in the center are closed, have "For rent" signs in the empty windows, or are abandoned and boarded up, their windows pasted over with publicity.

Le Depot de subsistence, the main venue for the international and student exhibition, during the inaugural weekend

Two visitors in the exhibition of the student competition "Etudiants tous a Chaumont!"

"Pieces of a evidence conviction" is newspeak for "Jury exhibition"

Jury exhibition

The Centre International du Graphisme CIG, under construction

Building fence around the CIG

Theater poster for the theater Relax. While poster designers might consider it original and beautiful, I doubt whether the Chaumontais will agree.

A shop gone out of business that begs to keep its windows clear of publicity

An abandoned bakery shop

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