The castle

About

Monthelon Castle is a place dedicated to artistic search, surrounded by an endless sky and green acres.

It was founded 1989 by Ueli Hirzel, a contemporary circus artist and producer, and Eva Bruderer. Their determination to promote the « upstream of the upstream » in the creation process is everlasting thank to an artists’ collective who created the Monthelon Castle Association in 2010 to promote this transdisciplinary project which receives worldwide recognition.

The place

Monthelon is a country manor mostly built in the XVIIth century but originally from the VIIIth century.

It enjoys a very special location: on top of a hill with south-facing orientation face to “bocage bourguignon”, it is sheltered from urban hustle and bustle and production rationale.

Its isolation and its panorama offer an environment conducive to contemplation or to introspection, to inspiration, therefore to creative work.

Three families presently live in the castle together with permanent artists whose daily commitment contributes to the life of the castle.

The activities

The artistic residences

Sheltered by the castle walls and the freedom provided by its surroundings, artists are invited to meet each other in order to re-source their art and give birth to new projects.

Around 150 artists are welcome every year for a given time lasting between ten days and several months focused on a project or according to their needs, to allow them to lose track and to find their way again, facing the unknown with all the demands involved.

How to apply for an artist residency?

Public events

End of residency

According to work progress public presentation sessions are organised.
They involve an exchange between the artist and the public when spectators are invited to give their response, their impressions, their ideas to nurture the work of the artist and become aware of the true meaning of their presence.

The Rencontres de Monthelon

This three-days summer event has been taking place since 2005 and welcomes around a thousand people for the Rencontres when artists from the Association meet the artists in residence from the previous year.

It is an opportunity for the public to discover new shows but also performances, installations and improvisations in a welcoming place with food and drinks available.
Thanks to the Association the Rencontres take a different form every year.

See the previous Rencontres de Monthelon

Local cultural action

Monthelon Castle establishes partnership in the area to share its resources with locals, children, the elderly, sick or handicapped people, and even prisoners.

International cooperation

Every year Monthelon Castle welcome more than 40% foreign artists and numerous informal connections exist throughout the world.
To develop these connections institutional partnerships have been created.

In Chili: Maule region and circus school Pala Espacio Creativo from Linarès.
In Denmark: The Aarhus Filmværksted, foundation to promote independent cinema.

Spaces

The space available in Monthelon Castle facilitates numerous encounters, among artists, between the artists and the local area, between the artists and the inhabitants.

The working places are distributed into five different units. As they are more or less easy to heat up their use vary according to the seasons.

Outdoor spaces can also accommodate mobile structures (circus tents, gantries, etc.).

The kitchen is at the heart of the building. Very well appointed, it is spacious, welcoming and homely.

The library is an inspiring place where one can check the books which have influenced previous resident artists. For us this is a way to archive and keep a memory from everybody and to offer mutual inspiration. See the books