Magiciens de la terre — Retour sur une exposition légendaire


Mixed media

Magiciens de la terre
Retour sur une exposition légendaire

Past: July 2 → September 15, 2014

Magiciens de la terre, presented simultaneously at the Centre Pompidou and the Grande Halle de la Villette in 1989, was one of the exhibitions that revolutionised the 20th century international art scene.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this pioneering event, the Centre Pompidou is staging an international symposium at the end of March, presenting a documentary exhibition in early July, laying on a summer university, and publishing a new reference book.

At the very beginning of a globalisation not yet acknowledged as such, through its unprecedented invitation to contemporary artists from every continent, sometimes from “invisible cultures” (Africa, Asia and Oceania), the 1989 exhibition Magiciens de la terre, devised by Jean-Hubert Martin, can now be seen as a seminal moment in the globalising of contemporary art.

Alain Seban, President of the Centre Pompidou, wanted to really celebrate this 25th anniversary, which also echoes the theme central to the Centre Pompidou’s thinking and action:

“Art is global. Our collection aims to be universal, and should reflect the new geography of creation. This is a major challenge for a contemporary art museum in the 21st century. The exhibition Magiciens de la terre was the first event pointing the way to this globalisation, this new mission. Paying tribute to the exhibition is also a way of highlighting the Centre Pompidou’s commitment in this respect.”

At the same time as celebrations for this pioneering exhibition, the presentation of the Centre Pompidou’s contemporary collections, Une histoire. Art, architecture et design, de 1980 à aujourd’hui, opening on 2 July 2014, takes up the challenge of a globalised art scene. Meanwhile since the autumn of 2013, Modernités Plurielles 1905–1970, the new display of the historic collections, has been offering a fresh reading of the history of modern art, through the works of over 400 artists, representing 47 countries, in all fields of creation.

Various events are being staged by the Centre Pompidou for the 25th anniversary of Magiciens de la terre, with Annie Cohen-Solal as general curator:

— An international symposium will be taking place on 27 and 28 March in the Grande Salle, looking back over the experience provided by the exhibition and the prospects it opened out. A number of major international figures have responded to the Centre Pompidou’s invitation to discuss the question of globalisation in terms of economics, sociology, the political sciences and the history of art.

— A documentary exhibition, 2 July — 8 September, curated by Didier Schulmann, head of the Bibliothèque Kandinsky in the Musée National d’Art Moderne, will be presenting the archives of «Magiciens de la terre 1989»: a large collection of photographic documents, travel diaries, drawings, catalogues and films in an original staging designed by the artist Sarkis.

— A summer university, from 1 to 10 July, open to PhD students, PhD graduates and curators, will enable a new generation of researchers to explore the sources of this exhibition and meet creators, artists and curators, together with archivists and librarians.

A new book co-published by the Editions Centre Pompidou and the Editions Xavier Barral will trace the origins of this event and provide a critical assessment, while looking ahead to the future and further prospects through the writings of sociologists, historians, curators and art critics. Many of the artists who took part in the 1989 exhibition will also provide their current views, and a completely new photo report will take readers back to the 1989 exhibition rooms.

Lastly, all the Magiciens de la terre archives will be made available to a broad public through a large-scale digitisation programme, going online on the virtual Centre Pompidou, the centre’s new website.

04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

Place Georges Pompidou

75004 Paris

T. 01 44 78 12 33 — F. 01 44 78 16 73

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 11 AM – 9 PM
Late night on until 11 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €16.00 — Concessions €14.00

Gratuit pour les moins de 18 ans, billet exonéré pour les moins de 26 ans. Et pour tout le monde, les premiers dimanches du mois.

Venue schedule

The artists

And many others…

From the same artists