Curating in the 80’s

In partnership with SensoProjekt / Projection

Sol LeWitt dans : Een openbaar bad voor Münster (Une piscine publique pour Münster), de Jef Cornelis, 1987. Courtesy ARGOS et Copyright VRT.

26th march 2020

SPEAKERS : PATRICK JAVAULT (art critic AICA) and CHRISTIAN BESSON (honorary professor of art history, HEAD Geneva, critic, founder of the Modern Archives)

Curating in the 80’s. Castello di Rivoli – Münster Skoquerur Projekt, by Jef Cornelis, BRT, Argos distribution, Dutch, German, French voiceover translation, 68 min., Belgium, 1985-1987. JRP / Ringier 2017 Edition.

Two short films from the same period and by the same director, Jef Cornelis (Bel., 1941-2018), who invented a way of testifying to the art of his time for television, which remains today a model, will be presented. . Free and creative but without creativity overflowing with the duty of information and education. The 1980s, between the discourses of postmodernism and the half-successful publicity stunts around figurative painting, the institutional recognition of povera art and conceptual art remained despite their boiling difficult to decipher. Among the remarkable phenomena of this decade are the emergence of museums of contemporary art and the confrontation of contemporary art with places steeped in history. Opened to the public in 1984, the Castello di Rivoli, 20 km from Turin, is an 18th century building, largely degraded, that the Piedmont region has chosen to revive by hosting a large art event contemporary then, in the face of its success, to transform the place into a museum. It is today considered the most important in Italy for the contemporary scene. With the inaugural exhibition, Rudi Fuchs (PB, 1942), crowned with the success of his Documenta 7 in 1982, gave the example of how the art of installation as well as painting or sculpture could win. to leave the sanitized spaces of traditional museums to enter into dialogue with a real “house”, in this case an architecture where the passage of history can be read. Less interested in American art than in European art which he broadly embraces (Baselitz, Clemente, as well as Buren, Richard Long, Luciano Fabro or Joseph Beuys), Rudi Fuchs sees himself above all as a director capable of ” organize the disposal of existing works but also as the holder of a know-how which enables it to respond to the requests of artists accustomed to producing new works according to a given framework. Listening to it today, one is struck by the fact that the great curator was then less identified with a creator or an inventor than with a kind of expert sure of his taste and having the confidence of artists.

Münster Skoquerur Projekt is a unique decennial event (first edition in 1977) since it invites artists to work in the public space of this city in the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia and that at the end of the ‘exhibition, and after consultation with residents, some works are preserved. With each edition, visitors set off to discover a city and its history (and that of Münster is a good mirror of German history) through the works that these have created for artists. In the film that Jef Cornelis devoted to the 1987 edition (which invites Richard Serra as well as Jeff Koons or Thomas Schütte), we benefit from a tourist of choice in the person of the artist Christian-Philipp Müller whose guided tour is part of the artistic practice. With him and his falsely naive remarks, we have the impression of going inside the project, before hearing at the end of the journey the two commissioners Kasper König and Klaus Bussmann tell us about their vision of public space.

In the presence of Christian Besson, honorary professor of art history, HEAD (Geneva), critic, founder of the Modern Archives, author of numerous critical texts and also organizer of several exhibitions including “Anthropology of the watch” at Ensba de Nîmes in 2016. This specialist in the history of visual culture and the theory of exposure will surely give us a strong analysis of the two films and the two events they document. The discussion will be moderated by Patrick Javault.


Price of Thursdays: 5 €
Reduced rate: 2 € (Friends, subscribers, job seekers, teachers)
Free for students

Within the limit of available seats