[artinfo] call for registration 'Magiciens de la Terre' Summer University

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Sun Jan 12 12:06:03 CET 2014

Centre Pompidou: call for registration 'Magiciens 
de la Terre' Summer University

Bibliothéque Kandinsky Musée national d'art moderne

Application deadline:
February 28th 2014

The Centre Pompidou sets up the Bibliothéque Kandinsky Summer University.
1st session, July 2014: 1989-2014, 'Magiciens de 
la Terre' twenty-five years on.
The 25th anniversary of a pioneering exhibition 
at the dawn of the globalisation of art.

From 18 May to 14 August 1989, the exhibition 
'Magiciens de la terre', presented simultaneously 
at the Centre Pompidou and the Grande Halle de la 
Villette, was an eye-opener to visitors, critics, 
museums and the market alike. Into a contemporary 
art world then confined to the borders of Europe 
and North America, its curator Jean-Hubert Martin 
and his team had invited artists from every 
continent, pinpointed one by one during long 
missions in the field over many years. During 
this time they sought out artists with practices 
rooted in ancestral cultures, who were resistant 
to post-colonialism, up in arms against any kind 
of totalitarianism, and above all, interested in 
the way the world was gradually opening up. Other 
interested people were associated with the event, 
including a number of Western artists who, while 
deeply integrated into dominant networks, were 
driven by the need for an intercultural dialogue. 
These artists produced works that resonated with 
the singular energy and the unprecedented 
collision produced by these hitherto invisible 
'new artists'. A pioneering initiative, 
'Magiciens de la Terre' was rapidly perceived as 
an inaugural event.

At the very beginning of a globalisation not yet 
acknowledged as such, 'Magiciens de la Terre' 
engendered many polemics, which persisted and 
flourished. It inspired callings and led to 
disappointments, produced other founding events 
and imitations, and had an influence on many 
exhibitions that came after it. It was thus one 
of those 'turning points' that marked a change in 

Among the Centre Pompidou's initiatives for the 
25th anniversary of 'Magiciens de la Terre', the 
Bibliothèque Kandinsky has devised an 
exhibition/dossier whereby an international group 
of young researchers (PhD students, PhD graduates 
and curators) are given special access to the 
primary sources of this exhibition, and then 
closely examine them through analysis and 
historiographical criticism, as part of a Summer 

The Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer University.

The university, held on the actual premises of 
the event (the exhibition space, museum rooms and 
archive reserves), is coordinated by the very 
people who set the exhibition in motion (the 
artists and curators). With contributions from 
the critics and art historians who commented on 
it, the university takes the form of a series of 
workshops exclusively focused on the sources. 
This means that photographs, manuscripts (notes 
and reports) and 'sources of sources' 
(periodicals, catalogues and documentary dossiers 
used by the devisers of the event studied) are 
available to the participants in a collegial, 
collaborative environment.

From 2 to 10 July 2014, within the exhibition on 
'Magiciens de la Terre' laid on by the 
Bibliothèque Kandinsky in the Museum's Gallery 
(with a stage design by Sarkis reinterpreting the 
1989 event), the Summer University sessions will 
take place every morning from 9 am to 1 pm. They 
will enable participants to study documents 
connected with the missions of the curators in 
1989, their exchanges with the artists, the 
arrangement with the institutions, the 
compilation of the catalogue, the assembly of the 
exhibition, the meetings to which it formed the 
backdrop, the previews, and the reactions to the 
exhibition, both during the summer of 1989 and 
the echoes that are still felt today.

This session of the Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer 
University does not aim to re-discuss Western 
modernity as a model intended to spread so much 
as to investigate - starting from the sources 
produced by the 'magicians' themselves - the 
conditions for a globalised contemporary art to 
emerge, its various production methods and its 
dissemination movements in all parts of the 
world. The very subject of this session devoted 
to 'Magiciens de la terre' thus aims to promote 
world-level discussions about a new way to write 
the history of art and remodel the cartography of 
its poles.

Organisation of the Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer University

The participants in the Bibliothèque Kandinsky 
Summer University will consist of around twenty 
PhD students, PhD graduates and curators who are 
involved in research on the globalisation of 
contemporary art. In this respect, their 
participation in the Summer University will 
provide a chance to talk about the progress of 
their work and interact with around ten young 
PhDs. The latter, who will organise and 
coordinate the Summer University, come from the 
'Art & Globalisation' workshop at the INHA and 
the Bibliothèque Kandinsky, which since 2011 has 
been guiding the approach of the research 
programme run by the Labex-CAP and the Centre 
Pompidou in association with Didier Schulmann 
(curator and manager of the Bibliothèque 
Kandinsky) and his team.

The Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer University will 
include the production of a publication 
reflecting its discussions: a place for 
'depositing' the contributions sought and devised 
by the participants themselves. Writing workshops 
will be staged every afternoon at the 
Bibliothèque Kandinsky (or in the evenings when 
the afternoons are taken up with tours of the 
museum reserves or archive stores, or with 
artists' workshops) so that the publication can 
be given to all the participants on the last day 
of the University. This publication will be 
coordinated by a group of graphic artists present 
throughout the sessions, who will act as 
'clerks'. The publication will be printed and 
handed out on the last day of the University, and 
as from the morning of the next day will be 
distributed free to exhibition visitors, and 
given out in museum and university libraries.

The work of each day will be based on archive and 
documentary sources (directly relating to the 
theme of the day), on the epistemological 
subjects of the 1989 exhibition (cartography, 
listology, photography, etc.) and on the range of 
theoretical tools (structuralism, Marxism, 
formalism, etc.) used by the devisers of 
'Magiciens de la terre', who came from the realms 
of anthropology, ethnology, geography, the 
political and economic sciences and the history 
and theory of art. Bibliographies will be given 
to participants as soon as they have registered.

Post-graduate students (PhD and post-PhD) and 
curators who wish to take part are invited to 
submit draft talks and communications through 
which they wish to contribute to Summer 
University discussions, accompanied by a CV 
indicating which foreign languages they are 
proficient in. Motivations must not be more than 
4,500 characters or 700 words; they may be 
written in English or French. They must be 
submitted in a Word document and include the 
applicant's name, postal and electronic 
addresses, the establishment they are attached 
to, and their country.

The proposal and CV must be sent in a single 
document, attached to an email. The 'subject' 
field in the email must indicate the applicant's 
name and the country where he/she is registered, 
prededed by 'Université d'été'. Emails must be 
sent to: 
<mailto:Bibliotheque.Kandinsky at centrepompidou.fr>Bibliotheque.Kandinsky at centrepompidou.fr 
by February 28th 2014.

The proposals will be collected, examined and 
selected by a scientific committee, who will be 
in charge of drawing up the final Summer 
University programme. All applicants, wether or 
not retained, will be personally contacted before 
March 28th ..

The applicants chosen must submit a summary of 
300 words maximum in French or English by 
midnight May 5th to: 
<mailto:Bibliotheque.Kandinsky at centrepompidou.fr>Bibliotheque.Kandinsky at centrepompidou.fr 
in a Word document and this must be accompanied 
by the presentation in PowerPoint format.

It is essential to be fluent in French or English.

This first edition of the Summer University is 
self-financed, so a participation of 998eu is 
required from participants, who will receive 
tuition at the Summer University as well as 
accommodation. If any applicants so request, the 
Centre Pompidou will issue any attestations 
required for them to obtain any scholarships they 
may be eligible for from foundations, museums or 
university or research institutes.

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