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Inscribing Institutional Exhibition History: On the Centre Pompidou’s Catalogue Raisonné Project

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The Centre Pompidou recently instigated a think tank to examine the history of its exhibitions, giving weight to the configuration of each show as a cultural artefact. This initiative aims to critically consider and facilitate the documentation and cataloguing of all of its exhibitions, with a focus on reviewing what past initiatives have been most successful. Each exhibition, then, is considered in terms of its various manners of inscribing cultural history. This article examines the initial stages of curatorial research at the Centre Pompidou, as well as offers a critical take on how the methodologies deployed by the institution have both enhanced the historical record of exhibitions and stimulated fresh thinking around display history.
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Keywords: Centre Pompidou; catalogue raisonné; curatorial archives; exhibition documentation; exhibitions and cultural memory; history of exhibitions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Oslo School of Architecture and Design 2: Laboratoire Histoire culturelle et sociale de l’art, Université Paris 1

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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