LABEX Arts-H2H, University of Paris 8 – Centre Pompidou
February, 6th, 7th, 8th, 2014
The project “History of Exhibitions in 20th Century”, initiated in 2011, seeks to provide a critical and interdisciplinary reflection on the phenomenon of exhibitions in our time.
This project, led by two research teams of the University of Paris 8 and by the Centre Pompidou, consisted initially in the elaboration of various principles regarding the collecting and archiving of information about exhibitions, in order to produce a catalogue raisonné of Centre Pompidou’s exhibitions. This first phase was mostly about the complexity of exhibition processes. Among other things, questions were raised about the choice of objects, access to information, selection and display of information… Writing about exhibitions —trying to tell their (hi)story— means indeed taking into account the plurality of their determinations. In December 2012, a symposium gave the opportunity to discuss the goals of the constitution of an open archive of exhibitions —for the Centre Pompidou as well as for other museums or the academic world.
The second phase of this project takes further the same questions and extends them along wider fields of research —art history, esthetics, museology, history of cultural policies… The catalogue raisonné led to questions regarding the archival of exhibitions, their actors, the access to information… Februar 2014 conference will seek to open new perspectives, both narrower and wider. They are narrower as far as some very specific exhibitions will be examined in their own singularity. They are also wider, to the extent that one wo n’t be limited to the exhibitions of Centre Pompidou. Other questions will be taken into account: about what an exhibition is nowadays —here and elsewhere— in relation to a history that should also be questioned —and through the emergence of what one could call an exhibition-system.
The following themes will be proposed :