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Eccentricity in Order to Re-centre: La Maison Rouge

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In the ten years of its existence, La Maison Rouge has been an influential venue in the Paris art world. Besides monographic shows, it has organized innovative exhibitions through three different pathways: internationalization, the inclusion of ‘art brut’ and other materials made by or representing psychiatric patients, and the presentation of private collections. These exhibitions were all curated carefully on the basis of thoughtful principles. Paradoxically, the institution’s anniversary exhibition Le mur seemed to undermine the very idea of curating by consigning the selection and arrangement of artworks to a computer. This article seeks to understand the paradox this curatorial methodology raises, and posits that eccentricity can be construed as a meaningful basis for constructing exhibitions.
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Keywords: (Johnson) Chang Tsong-Zung; Antoine de Galbert; La Maison Rouge; Le mur; art brut; curating internationalism; innovative curatorial practice

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis

Publication date: June 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Curatorial Studies is an international, peer-reviewed publication that explores the cultural functioning of curating and its relation to exhibitions, institutions, audiences, aesthetics and display culture. The journal takes a wide perspective in the inquiry into what constitutes "the curatorial." Curating has evolved considerably from the connoisseurship model of arranging objects to now encompass performative, virtual and interventionist strategies. While curating as a spatialized discourse of art objects remains important, the expanded cultural practice of curating not only produces exhibitions for audiences to view, but also plays a catalytic role in redefining aesthetic experience, framing cultural conditions in institutions and communities, and inquiring into constructions of knowledge and ideology.
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