Editions Centre Pompidou

James Coleman | Exhibition Catalogue


The Center Pompidou presents a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the Irish artist James Coleman, whose aim, since the beginning of the 1960s, has been to deconstruct the functioning of images by working on distinct practices, those of painting, photography and film. The exhibition reflects the exemplary interdisciplinarity of an artistic practice with which many contemporary artists - such as Douglas Gordon or Tino Sehgal - have said how much it had marked them.

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Editions Centre Pompidou
James Coleman
Art history- Art movements
Fine arts


Coleman builds his work on early films questioning the pretenses of vision using homemade optical traps. Continuing his research in the proximity of Dan Graham, Coleman very early learned the lessons of minimalism. He uses devices with radical plastic stripping, similar to those used in scientific experiments, through which he methodically explores the mechanisms of cognition. In the early 1970s, James Coleman invented the medium that would henceforth be associated with his name. He designs installations based on the projection of slides from a carousel. The screening is accompanied by a synchronized soundtrack that broadcasts a story. The smooth and continuous character of the text read contrasts with the discontinuous nature of the projected images, providing the viewer with an unprecedented experience, somewhere between a cinematographic film broken into fragments and a photo novel brought to the dimensions of historical painting.
The catalog published on the occasion of the exhibition contains, in addition to unpublished texts, an anthology of articles by Benjamin Buchloh, Raymond Bellour, Georges Didi-Huberman, Rosalind Krauss, Jacques Rancière or Kaja Silverman, attesting to the exceptional interest aroused by the work of James Coleman among the most important contemporary art critics.

Descriptions & Features

Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov
Éditions du Centre Pompidou
23 cm x 27 cm
Publication year
Number of pages

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