Maria Inés Rodriguez. Photo: Thomas Sanson.

Director Maria Inés Rodríguez Faces Dismissal from Bordeaux’s CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain

Maria Inés Rodríguez, the director of Musée d’Art Contemporain in Bordeaux, will soon be dismissed from her position. According to the French daily Libération, Rodríguez was summoned to a town hall meeting on Tuesday, March 6, where she was told that her artistic program was “too demanding.”

Despite an increase in the museum’s patronage, newly formed partnerships with national and international institutions, and programming that has received critical acclaim, such as the exhibition “Beatriz Gonzalez: Retrospective 1965–2017”—the artist’s first European retrospective—negotiations for the termination of Rodríguez's employment are currently taking place.

While there have been reports of management problems at the museum, specifically disagreements between Rodríguez and members of the staff, the director was reappointed to her position last year and was expected to serve another three-year term. Bordeaux’s deputy mayor for culture, Fabien Robert, told Elisabeth Franck-Dumas of Libération that Rodríguez has not yet been forced to depart and that the city has defended her, but problems at the institution must be addressed. He also spoke of the city’s wish to “rethink the cultural project” of the CAPC and mentioned that Rodríguez had been involved in ongoing discussions about a change of direction for the museum in recent months.

Former director Charlotte Laubard noted that the institution was “in a very uncomfortable situation in terms of image and political support.” The city will hold municipal elections two years from now. A surge in tourism in Bordeaux—in 2010 the region welcomed 2.4 million visitors and in 2015 that number rose to 5.8 million—may also be contributing to the city’s wish to change up the institution’s platform.

Rodríguez joined the CAPC as director in 2013. Previously she served as chief curator at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City and as curator at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y Léon in Spain, as well as at the Jeu de Paume in Paris. After her appointment, the museum issued a statement applauding her “holistic approach towards art and culture” and core interest in “research and education.” A selection committee chaired by Alain Juppé will be in charge of recruiting new leadership for the museum.