MEMENTO, an artistic laboratory in the heart of the Gers, promotes dialogue between contemporary art and both tangible and intangible heritage, in order to encourage a collective experience of creation.

MEMENTO was born out of the desire to revive a former Carmelite convent, which had been closed for 10 years, through contemporary creation. Owned by the Gers Departmental Council, this regional contemporary art space, which is undergoing constant renovation, aims to build artistic momentum locally, nationally and internationally, by working in partnership with artists and cultural institutions of the current art scene.
This former Carmelite convent was refurbished in 1949 to house the regional archives and was then closed to await its future. In 2016, it became MEMENTO, a laboratory of contemporary artistic curiosities where the works resonate with the site's atypical spaces. The building, made up of several rooms, bears the marks of time, making MEMENTO a field of experimentation: an ecosystem made up of spaces, works and audiences. The idea here is to rethink the very notion of an exhibition by favouring the collective project within a heritage site. In this way, the building and its memorial significance (a place of worship and archives) become the foundation of the artists' shared reflections.


Each year, MEMENTO opens its doors to the public for its summer session from June to October. Its artistic and cultural programme (including concerts and meetings, etc.) directly link to the exhibition, for which artists are mainly invited to create on site (in particular in connection with the creative residency initiated during the winter).
During the winter period, MEMENTO develops two very distinct programmes "inside and outside the walls":
- "Outside the walls” is an artistic and cultural education programme aimed at the public in the Gers region and run by MEMENTO's visitors team.
- “Within the walls" is an annual programme of personalised residencies for research or creation. These programmes welcome French and international art professionals and are run by MEMENTO's artistic director.

MEMENTO offers artistic immersion in the heart of a building that is closed to the public. It provides residents with the opportunity to become part of a shared history where encounters and experiences form the foundations of an artistic community. It becomes a place for research, experimentation, residencies and creation, dedicated to sharing, raising awareness of and supporting contemporary creation.    
- The creative residency is a programme dedicated to artists’ research and precedes the production phase in MEMENTO’s spaces for each annual artistic edition. It's an opportunity for artists to question their practice in relation to the history of the building, in order to decide upon presentation methods and work that will be part of the collective exhibition at the convent.

- The research residency is a programme which allows artists to reflect on their practice, drawing on interactions between their practice and the identity of MEMENTO’s premises, enabling them to reassess the articulations of the concepts that fuel their visual universe. Residents are not required to produce anything at the end of the residency.

All the residencies offer artists personalised support, provided by several members of the association and more specifically by the artistic director. Meetings set up focus on reinterpreting their practice within an atypical heritage site in relation to their projects developed at MEMENTO. The aim of the creative and research residency is to build upon the work of both the resident artists and the association, in order to develop new forms of artistic cooperation dedicated to fine arts work and encounters.


- Critical, curatorial, administrative and logistical support from MEMENTO's artistic director;
- For the creation residency: a €2,500 residency grant and €2,500 to cover production costs;
- For the research residency: a €1,500 research grant;
- Rental accommodation near MEMENTO’s premises;
- Studio/office space at MEMENTO with direct access to empty exhibition spaces during the residency period to optimise research and creation;
- Travel and food stipend, the amount of which is agreed upon with the artist when the local government agreement is drawn up and signed;
- Work sessions adapted to the artist during the residency. Depending on the type of residency, artists are provided with technical and logistical support and put in contact with various partners;
- A visitor experience manager also helps to support and implement specific initiatives with the public and in relation to the residency project. These are approved by both the artist and the artistic director;
- An exhibition technician provides technical support for the production of work as part of the creative residency;
- The creative residency culminates in the creation of work as part of the group exhibition curated by MEMENTO's artistic director.


MEMENTO tends to invite art professionals directly. 
1 to 2 residencies take place per year, depending on the artistic project developed each year by the association.
Speculative applications can however be sent to our email address:


Depending on the project and type of residency, programmes last between 2 weeks and 3 months. No specific format is imposed on residents and the residency proceedings are decided upon by the artist and Memento's artistic director.


Residents are expected to take part in several meetings with the support staff in order to develop their projects and integrate it into MEMENTO’s artistic vision.
Artists must respect the residency schedule and the exhibition installation date. An agreement will stipulate the commitments of each party.
Artists are required to meet with the individual in charge of visitors so that a thorough understanding of the work exhibited is acquired. 
The organisation of activities aimed at the public is dependent on the residency. 
Conversations, meetings and/or presentations during the residency may also be organised if the artist and the association consider this relevant to the project and the clauses of the joint agreement.


Co-parents can be housed for part of the residency duration. Artists who wish to bring their children must be able to adapt to the layout of the flats, as only one room is available for the family. At this stage, we do not offer additional funding for residents with children.


During the residency, artists have the opportunity to discuss their practice and work with MEMENTO's visitors team. 
There is no obligation to meet with different audiences (school, extra-curricular, etc.). Activities aimed at the public may be carried out if this is something residents develop in their projects.  
Conversations, meetings and/or performances during the residency may be organised if the artist and the association deem this relevant to the project and the clauses of the joint agreement.
As part of specific programmes to raise awareness of contemporary art, "off-site" artistic and cultural education residencies are also organised. These are part of an agreement which is separate to that of the exhibition. MEMENTO's visitors team carry out outreach work in relation to this in the Gers area.

Contact us

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