Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
The display of the permanent collection at Centre Pompidou has taken my breath away for a couple of years running. The finesse and detail of placing reference material among the larger works of the collection is such a delight, of information and context surrounding the works themselves. It is the full integration of all the parts of the museum. The library becomes as much a part of it as the individual work, and reading and the surrounding ephemera become accessible tools to understanding. A proper kids-own perplexing and delving museum, not some prescribed ramble tantamount to a visit to Disneyland, aka Tate Moderne!
Last year the integrating theme was Russian art of the last century, hence the picture above of the Alexander Rodchenko chair designed for the reading room of the Model Workers Club for the Soviet pavilion at the International Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris, 1925). [ The chair’s top rail was to support the poet Mayakovsky’s arms when reading ]
Whereas this year it is L’Oeil Écoute, which I would have thought best translated as The Listening Eye – the simultaneous presence and influence of music on contemporary work. The tangential corridors of the Dossier exhibitions run through from Diaghilev and the Ballets-Russes, through Futurism, Artaud and the beginnings of Performance, through Sound Poetry to the festivals of Fluxus.
I have rarely felt more engaged, and there was much one didn’t know about, particularly in the exchange between Erik Satie and Constantin Brancusi, which I thought I had covered! SC