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12 Apr 2014

Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer University

Magiciens de la terre, 1989-2014, Revisiting a Pionnering Exhibition 25 Years Later
Bibliothèque Kandinsky, MNAM/CCI, Centre Pompidou


Mica Gherghescu
+ 33 1 44 78 46 65

Bibliothèque Kandinsky, MNAM/CCI, Centre Pompidou
75191 PARIS

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The Centre Pompidou Launches Its First
Summer University
At the Bibliothèque Kandinsky
July 1st-10th, 2014

Magiciens de la terre
Revisiting a Pioneering Exhibition
Twenty-Five Years Later

From May 18th to August 14th, 1989, Magiciens de la terre, an exhibition presented both at the Centre Pompidou and at the Grande Halle de la Villette, became an instant eye-opener to visitors, critics, museums and the markets alike. From the five continents, through long field-research trips, Jean-Hubert Martin and his team had invited those 'invisible artists' who had never been showed in a contemporary western art museum until then, because the art world had remained confined to Europe and North America for too long. On a total of more than one hundred artists invited in the show, half of them were Western artists who, while deeply integrated into dominant networks, were driven by the need for an intercultural dialogue.

At the very beginning of a globalization not yet acknowledged as such, Magiciens de la terre generated many polemics, which persisted and flourished. It inspired callings and led to critiques, catalyzing other founding events, and influencing many exhibitions and Biennales that followed. 'Over these past 25 years, according to Jean-Marc Poinsot, Magiciens de la terre even became 'a springboard and a forum for debate.'

Among the many events organized around Magiciens de la terre's 25th anniversary by the Centre Pompidou, the Bibliothèque Kandinsky has created a dossier-exhibition, in which an international group of young researchers (doctoral candidates, confirmed PhDs and curators) will be given special access to the primary sources of the exhibition, and will be invited to examine them through analysis and historiographical criticism, as part of a Summer University.

The Summer University at the Bibliothèque Kandinsky

Held on the actual premises of the exhibition and animated by key-note speakers from various disciplines, the Summer University will be organized as a series of workshops exclusively focusing on original sources: photographs, manuscripts (notes, reports, questionnaires) as well as on 'sources of sources' (periodicals, catalogues, documentary dossiers, and press releases).

It will address PhD students, PhD graduates and curators whose research is linked to the conditions of globalization in contemporary art. In this respect, their participation in the Summer University will provide the opportunity to share the progress of their work and to confront it with different types of material, thus contributing to a critical debate around the modes of production and of reception of a landmark exhibition.

The sessions will take place from July 1st to July,10th every morning from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each day will be based on archival and documentary sources, on the epistemological productions of the 1989 exhibition and on a wide range of the theoretical tools used by the curators. Bibliographies will be given to participants as soon as they have registered.

The Summer University will include the production of a publication, coordinated by a group of graphic artists, which will reflect the discussions held during the sessions. Writing workshops will be organized every afternoon at the Bibliothèque Kandinsky (or in the evenings, when the afternoons will be devoted to museum storage visits, or else to visits to archive stores or artists' workshops). The publication will be printed and handed out on the last day of the University, and will subsequently be freely distributed to exhibition visitors, museum and university libraries.


! Extended application deadline

Post-graduate students (PhD candidates, PhDs, post-doctoral researchers) and curators who wish to take part in the Summer University are invited to submit a proposal, as well as a CV, which should clearly assess the candidate's language proficiency, both in French and in English. The proposal, which should be composed of circa 4,500 characters or else 700 words, may be written either in English or in French. It should be submitted in the form of a Word document and should include the applicant's name, postal and electronic addresses, as well as the country the candidate belongs to, and the institution the candidate is are affiliated with.

The proposal and CV should be sent in a single document, attached to an electronic message. The 'subject' field in the email must indicate the applicant's name, preceded by 'Université d'été'. Emails must be sent to: by April, 17th 2014

The proposals will be evaluated by a scientific committee, in charge of drawing up the final Summer University program. All applicants, whether selected or not, will be personally contacted before April, 18th 2014.

The selected candidates will then have to submit a summary of 300 words in French or English by May 15th midnight to the following electronic address: in a Word document, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

Fluency in French AND in English is required.

This first edition of the Summer University will be self-financed; therefore a participation of €500 will be required from each participant, who will be provided with tuition. Accommodation can be offered for €400 (10 days-stay expenses) in Ecole Nationale Supérieure Campus in Paris. Please indicate in your application letter whether you want to benefit or not from the accommodation facilities. If requested, the Centre Pompidou will be able to issue any required certificate in order to apply for scholarship or funding from foundations, museums, universities or research institutes.