what is exhibition?

montage de l'exposition, photo DR - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
montage de l'exposition, photo DR

Friday 13th June 2014 

Debate with Laurence Bertrand Dorléac (Sciences-Po Paris), Pierre Georgel (Musée de l'Orangerie) and Philippe Descola (Collège de France), moderated by Monica Preti-Hamard (musée du Louvre) and organised by Perspective, the journal of the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art and the musée du quai Branly's Department of Research and Education.

It appears that the field of exhibition is now infinite and that the range of subjects that can be exhibited has definitively abandoned the single criterion of aesthetic value which prevailed in the creation of these major events until the 1980s. This observation explains the success of the exhibition and above all the success of those who are its traditional creators: the conservators and curators who have undoubtedly rendered this method of narration and interrogation of the world so attractive to a variety of social science researchers, writers and philosophers. The evident success of an exhibition thus authorises and perhaps in return even imposes the necessity of testing the limits, of wondering whether absolutely everything can be exhibited.

While the need to constantly create events and punctuate the agenda of the elite in search of collective cultural markers has certainly exaggerated the hurried fabrication of exhibitions, it is no less true that unique and audacious experiments have seen the light of day in a variety of formats and aligned with widely differing ambitions: Orangerie, 1934: Les "peintres de la réalité”, "La fabrique des images" and "L’art en guerre" are major examples which we would like to re-examine in order to better understand their inception and measure their impact, both on the research of the authors and more generally on the field of art history.

Through a collaboration with the musée du quai Branly, the journal Perspective – which contains the latest discussions in international art history research – opens the debate concerning the political and polemical events which are exhibitions.

useful information

  • 3.00 pm
  • In the cinema
  • Free access subject to the number of available places