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EXHIBITIONS

“When Rossellini Filmed the Centre Pompidou” at La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel

In 1977, Roberto Rossellini devoted his last film to the opening of the Centre Pompidou, as personal testimony to the advent of a new artistic, architectural and cultural modernity. Now, after forty years of neglect, his film has resurfaced. The Italian director approached the museum in a way nobody else ever has, catching spectators’ stunned amazement on the spot. This extraordinary adventure is revealed by hitherto unshown archives from the film’s producer Jacques Grandclaude and Marie Auvity’s documentary account of its making. In response to this remarkable material, works by Brion Gysin, Gordon Matta- Clark and Melvin Moti from the Centre Pompidou collection offer subjective visions of the museum and its history.

The brand new Centre Pompidou opened in 1977, o ering the public its rst taste of Contemporary art. Roberto Rossellini devoted his last film to this historic moment. In doing so he testified to the advent of a new artistic, architectural and cultural modernity. With a camera constantly on the move and an amazing system of hidden microphones, he filmed the museum in a way nobody else ever has, catching spectators’ stunned amazement on the spot.

Rarely screened over these last 40 years, this remarkable work has been made the beating heart of the exhibition. It is accompanied by hitherto unshown archival material from producer and comrade in arms Jacques Grandclaude: a step by step video montage of the director at work, 2500 photographs of the shoot, and hours of sync rushes recorded with Rossellini’s hidden microphones.

This immersive experience of the Italian master’s method and the Centre Pompidou’s first days is revisited here in a film specially made for the exhibition, in which Marie Auvity gets the original crew to talk about the making of the Rossellini film and its relationship with the Pompidou’s creative spirit.

Out of this presentation arises the issue of how we see the museum and what it produces: its mix of democratisation and mass culture, and the invention of a new kind of visitor, a new form of museography and a new relationship with society.

What kind of memory lives on in museums, and what projections, critiques and reshapings is it subject to?

In response to Rossellini’s objective approach, works from the Centre Pompidou provide resolutely subjective artistic visions. When the Italian was filming, Brion Gysin was investing his photographs of the facade with his private hallucinations and Gordon Matta-Clark had already used the building site for Conical Intersect, his most famous social/ architectural work. When the Italian was filming, Melvin Moti was being born, and thirty years later he came up with No Show, a recreation of a guided tour of a museum containing no artworks. A “performance” made, he said, for the future, “a future we’re not even ready for yet.” Just as we weren’t ready for those baffling objects, the Centre Pompidou and Rossellini’s film.

In association with the Genesium Foundation and Studio l’Équipe.

Participating artists: Roberto Rossellini, Jacques Grandclaude, Marie Auvity, Brion Gysin, Gordon Matta-Clark, Melvin Moti

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at La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel
until 16 July 2017

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