The work was a response to Lille2004 – Cultural Capital of Europe. While the campaign aims to promote cultural development in designated cities or regions for a year, the temporary attention given to such sites calls for critical reflection. As art historian Miwon Kwon argues, “as such endeavours to engage art in the nurturing of specificities of locational difference gather momentum, there is a greater and greater urgency in distinguishing between the cultivation of art and places, and their appropriation for the promotion of cities as cultural commodities.” The effectiveness of the interaction between these campaigns, public artworks and local communities cannot be taken for granted.
Conscious on these issues, La Ville dans la Baguette, la baguette dans la ville attempted to develop a relationship with the lives of locals through vairous processes of engagement. Between February and May, 40 children, aged 5 to 10, from a community in Tourcoing, were invited to take part in a series of workshops, and to express their feelings towards their neighbourhood and activities of the campaign in drawings. Their works were collated in 6 variations of printed baguette wrapping paper, which found their way back to the community as people bought their daily baguettes from a local bakery. The shop was also an outlet for dialogue.