84 - Printemps / été 2015


In recent decades, numerous artists have rethought the relationship between the artwork and the exhibition, notably by treating the latter as a medium or device. Liberated from being simply a means of display, the exhibition has become an artwork in itself. This issue as a whole thus highlights artists and curators who are working in common to expand the boundaries of the exhibition and offer spectators a very different experience. As a complement to this section, we are publishing a series of articles on the presence of Québec artists at the Venice Biennale and the Havana Biennial.



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Articles à la pièce

Katrie Chagnon
Pierre Rannou
Marie Fraser
Jérôme Glicenstein
Marie-Ève Marchand
Estelle Grandbois-Bernard & Magali Uhl
Matthew Ryan Smith
Michael DiRisio
Guillaume Adjutor Provost

Exhibition as Artwork


Exhibition2: What Makes an Exhibition within an Exhibition?
This essay offers a nonlinear, non-chronological inventory of seven ways in which artists, curators, and museums are rethinking the exhibition. As its title, “Exhibition2,” suggests, the author dwells as much on how strongly current experiments are being challenged as on the importance of this emerging area of study. The idea of this inventory is not to describe the recent history of exhibitions or theorize exhibition models, but to delineate different approaches and show the potential of the questions that they are raising today.

In Search of a Canon of Exhibitions
The proliferation of exhibition reconstructions in recent years is part of the establishment of a canon of what are regarded as the most important exhibitions. This process has implications that are of concern to art history, museological practice, and curatorial practice. For art historians and curators, it is a matter of re-evaluating the contexts in which works appear (and sometimes the establishments that house them.) For curators, it is more a question of participating in the elaboration of an exhibition history and the constitution of shared references that might serve as a reservoir of models for specialized training.

The Period Room: Tomorrow’s Version
This article offers an analysis of the in-situ installation Tomorrow, presented by the artist duo Elmgreen and Dragset at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, in 2013. The author examines how this installation, which complicates the relations between the work and its exhibition space, revisits the modes of the period room as a museological device through its form and museography. By reviving certain characteristics of the period room and pushing some of its limits, Tomorrow offers visitors an experience in which the ambiguous boundaries between fiction and reality contribute to the critical and playful value of the installation.

Scenes from the House Dream: The Exhibition as Oneiric Scene
In recent years, the exhibition space has been redefined and reinterpreted by artists who have used it both as a material to work with and as a world to invest with new roles and meanings. For artists such as Parreno, Huyghe, and Golden, this new trend toward breaking through the limits of the artwork, reinventing the format of the retrospective, and revising the artist’s and curator’s roles is based on the immersive experience and the sense of the uncanny to transform the exhibition into an oneiric stage, a space for self-exploration in which the receiver is the co-creator. Scenes from the House Dream, by Canadian artist David Hoffos, is one of these exhibition-artworks, presented as a performative space in which the boundaries between familiar and strange, real and imaginary, artwork and life are blurred as visitors are immersed in the anxiety of a waking dream.

Notes on Curating Autobiographical Art
Exhibitions featuring autobiographical art expand our previous conceptions of object-based relations in that we, as curators, are not only putting physical objects and material on display but fragments of lives as well. In other words, the exercise of curating autobiographical art is not only curating artworks per se but a simulacrum of an artist’s life experience(s). Such an approach reconfigures the theoretical methodologies of curatorial and museological studies and improves upon our previous notions of artist/viewer, artist/curator and curator/viewer relations. If autobiographical art exhibitions stage lives for display and, as a result, can be said to garner a significant shift in both individual/collective identity and the constitution of memory in the viewer, then there must be an ethics involved with such presentation.

Circulation and Contradiction in Adrian Blackwell’s Furnishing Positions
In this essay I explore the various levels of engagement that Adrian Blackwell’s recent work Furnishing Positions operates on, emphasizing its relation to circulation. Blackwell centres the work on his interest in the paradoxes of public space, with a consideration of the openings created amidst the rise of neoliberalism. I argue that the tension present in public space should not be overlooked or diminished but appreciated and considered in relation to participatory and socially engaged exhibition practices. A broader understanding of circulation can further this discussion, with discourse shifting from isolated works to the networks that exist between and across projects.

Curating-Art: The Case of Willem de Rooij
Some artists’ work, like that of curators, revolves around the production of exhibitions. The author proposes the term “curating-art” to denote their practice. That said, one element distinguishes the artist curator from the traditional curator: the creative licence that the former always preserves. The author uses the work of Dutch artist Willem de Rooij, especially his project Intolerance, to illustrate what curating-art consists of and to explore the questions that it raises.


Transcending Materials and Perverting Objects: Art as Playing Field for BGL

Operation Venice by Jean-Pierre Aubé

Troubling the Gaze. Guillaume Lachapelle et Simon Bilodeau at Palazzo Bembo

Pièces pour cinq interprètes at the Havana Biennial: An Interview with Stéphane Gilot and Ariane De Blois

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