Appel à communication : « Le Centre Georges Pompidou a quarante ans ! » (Paris, 17 juin 2017)

Session du colloque du European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum (EPCAF)
Parsons Paris Campus – Paris, France, 17 juin 2017
Date limite pour les propositions : 25 avril 2017


The European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum (EPCAF), a worldwide forum for scholars working on postwar and contemporary European art is hosting its second June Colloquium at the Parsons Paris campus. As part of this event, we are seeking proposals for a session that will be devoted to the 40th anniversary of the Centre Georges Pompidou.

Session Topic:
The inauguration of the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1977 aimed to manifest French culture as “open and revitalizing” in the aftermath of a decade of cultural unrest and contestation. Not only did this post ’68 initiative seek to address discontent with the highly institutionalized contemporary art culture in the capital during the post-war period, but it also signaled a new strategy of decentralization in recognition of cultural initiatives beyond the center and internationally. Taking a more critical stance and acknowledging the need to expand the vision of French art beyond Paris, and the need to expand definitions of creative work beyond conventional mediums, the Centre Georges Pompidou opened up space to art from regional cities, and developed its programming and resources to include design, performance, research centers, and new media. On this anniversary year, with some forty venues within France organizing exhibitions, performances, music, and more, in what has been described as a “festival” in collaboration with the Institute for Acoustics and Music Research Coordination (IRCAM) and the Public Information Library (BPI), the objective is to make this year a “decentralized” event and to demonstrate a broadened vision of the contemporary creative landscape. Having produced some 300 plus exhibition since its inception, and building one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world, like all mature institutions, the mission and challenges of the past will change in the future requiring new strategies.

This session aims to address aspects of its history, but also its position in the present tense, which may include any of the following topics:

– What were the specifics of the cultural landscape that fostered the founding of the CGP.

– The mega-exhibitions, Paris/New York; Paris/Moscow; and Paris/Paris, signaled an effort to reinforce Paris as the center of modern and contemporary art. What was the critical reception of these exhibitions and what is the legacy of these exhibitions today?

– As a “central station of decentralization” within France, it veered away from the Malraux policy. Has it been a success? How is decentralization understood today in France?

– Does the CGP have a voice in contemporary design in France or internationally?

– What exhibitions or performances indicate institutional innovation? How?

– How has the CGP had a voice in contemporary art in a global environment?

– What is the role of satellite museums within France? What is the exhibition strategy?

– Has the CGP created a curatorial pipeline? What are the ways curatorial voices are manifest?

– What are the issues that a world-known institution faces moving forward? Has its mission been realized? Has the institution changed significantly over the past 40 years?

– What is the relevance of this institution within and beyond France?

– Has its monumentalized Piano-Rodgers architecture sustained as a symbol of transparency and innovation or has it become a brand?

The session will include papers of 20 minute length, which may be presented in French or English. Abstracts of 400-500 words should be submitted with an abbreviated 3 page CV by April 25, 2017.

Proposal abstract and CV should be sent with the subject line “Pompidou at 40” to:

Rosemary O’Neill/
Catherine Dossin/
Emmanuel Guy/

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