Exhibition Magiciens de la terre, a look back at a legendary exhibition
From Jul 2, 2014 to Sep 8, 2014
"Magiciens de la terre. Retour sur une exposition légendaire": a look back at a legendary exhibition in order to read and understand how this ground-breaking exhibition revolutionised the art scene.
The exhibition of archives and documents presented by the Centre Pompidou for the 25th anniversary of "Magiciens de la terre" aims to position the exhibition presented at the Centre Pompidou and the Parc de la Villette in 1989 as an inaugural event, as demonstrated by its abundant sources in all their visual and intellectual variety. At the very beginning of a globalisation not yet acknowledged as such, through its unprecedented invitation to contemporary artists from every continent, sometimes from "invisible cultures (Africa, Asia and Oceania), the exhibition can now be seen as a seminal moment in the globalising of contemporary art.
The aim of this documentary exhibition is to offer the materials of the history of art to all sections of the public, from the visitors who rapidly stride through the Museum to the more attentive ones, who decide to sit down and look at the screens, pore over the glass cases, or read and understand how this "threshold exhibition" revolutionised the art scene. As well as a large number of documents making it possible to revisit the exhibition, the Bibliothèque Kandinsky has hundreds of photographs of the spaces, rooms and displays. They have enabled the guest artist, Sarkis, to stage the exhibition to great effect, and create a mural installation in the form of a borderless planisphere, in which the 113 magicians of 1989 are identified and shown as equals. The work of Sarkis becomes an environment around which showcases, reading tables, screens, projections, freely available documents and shelving are deployed.
Replaced in its context by an observation of the events that shook the planet in 1989, "Magiciens de la terre, retour sur une exposition légendaire" offers its visitors originals or facsimiles for them to examine. In this way, reference documents, films, curators' notes and notebooks, books and catalogues are displayed according to the main stages that shaped the concept of the event. Field trips, contact with the artists, the work of institutions, the staging, the public's immediate welcome and the reception by the critics are revealed for the enlightenment of visitors, twenty-five years on.