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HomeThe first fifty years of the Georges Pompidou Centre: balance sheets and prospects

The first fifty years of the Georges Pompidou Centre: balance sheets and prospects

Les cinquante premières années du Centre Georges-Pompidou : bilans et perspectives

Séminaire du Comité d'histoire du ministère de la Culture

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Published on Monday, March 28, 2022

Abstract

The Georges Pompidou Centre was inaugurated on January 31, 1977. In 2027, half a century later, the Center is to reopen after several years of work. On this occasion, the institution is involved in a long-term reflection on its objectives and means. The History Committee of the French Ministry of Culture has decided to develop a correlative feedback on experience by opening a new seminar at the start of autumn term 2022. It aims primarily at researchers in the humanities and social sciences: history - including art history -, political science, anthropology, sociology, etc.

Announcement

Argument

The Georges Pompidou Centre was inaugurated on January 31, 1977. In 2027, half a century later, the Center is to reopen after several years of work. On this occasion, the institution is involved in a long-term reflection on its objectives and means. The History Committee of the French Ministry of Culture has decided to develop a correlative feedback on experience by opening a new seminar at the start of autumn term 2022. It aims primarily at researchers in the humanities and social sciences: history - including art history -, political science, anthropology, sociology, etc.

The first year will hold six half-day sessions, held at the Ministry and at the Pompidou Centre. The standard format of the sessions will consist in two papers (average length: forty-five minutes each), followed by a discussion, then an interview with an actor or witness. The papers are to be published online in the History Committee's research notebook.

In the first year, this call for papers is addressed to confirmed researchers (PhDs and above). Specific calls, which may include junior researchers (Master students, doctoral students...), may be considered in subsequent years.

Themes

1) Urbanism, architecture, planning

The public first knew the Pompidou Centre as a building, fitting into a specific urban context. Its choices have been the subject of abundant commentary. Both have already given rise to analyses, which must be taken up or continued. Georges Pompidou's project to revive the role of Paris as an international center for contemporary arts deserves a full study, as does the evolution, over the long term, of both the interior spaces and the surrounding neighbourhood.

2) Law and public policy

The creation of the "Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou" and its history raise a number of interesting legal questions: in particular, the originality of the institution in the landscape of other museums, from the point of view of its legal structure and the rules applicable to it. The analysis of the decree establishing the Centre is enlightening from this point of view, and it would be important to go back to its genesis, in particular to take a closer look at the way in which the prerogatives and missions of the institution were conceived. The Centre is one of the few institutions in which the president "may exercise the right of pre-emption on behalf of the State over works presented at public sales that may enter the centre's collections”. It might be appropriate to examine the way in which this sovereign power has been mobilised over the past 50 years. More generally, the theme of modes of enrichment is obviously central, including donation operations. The theme of the circulation of works at national and especially international level, faintly supported by the 2002 law, is also important. Another theme that could be explored concerns relations with authors and artists. The institution conserves collections "representative of artistic production and architectural and industrial creation since the beginning of the 20th century", which brings the world of creation (with copyrights procession) and that of heritage (with the imperatives of restoration and conservation) into contact in a particular way, and the combination of these two sets of interests is sometimes complex to order. It could be interesting to start from case studies. The material of contractual relations would be a precious source. At Last, the question of creation archives can also feed a reflection of a legal nature.

3) Regional and international development

A review of the Centre's most recent history (the last fifteen years) cannot fail to mention its regional and international development, which has mobilized governance, government, local authorities, and partner states, the choices made in favour of a regional branch, the choices made by the Center's international branches, and the consequences, notably legal, of these choices.

4) Cultural history, art history

The Centre's original choices bear witness to contemporary conceptions of the status of the arts in society, of dialogue (or not) between the arts, of the place of research in relation to creation, of cultural democratization or cultural democracy. Here too it will be important to distinguish between discourses (favourable or hostile) and policies carried out concretely in the field. The Centre's pioneering role in a certain number of forms of cultural action (e.g. the status of the "Word") deserves to be questioned. It’ clear that it always has been an experimental place for art exhibits (permanent collections, temporary exhibitions). The history of art will have something to say about the role of the Centre in the evolution of contemporary creation and about the place that, alongside the plastic arts, has been given, from the beginning or progressively, to music, the audio-visual, the performing arts, etc.

5) Sociology of personnel and audiences, anthropology of practices

Surveys and testimonies will focus on the trajectories of the Centre's actors, on the sociology of the public (the plural is more important here than ever), and on the planned and unforeseen ways of appropriating spaces (the BPI, the Piazza, etc.). In the 21st century, the Centre, like any institution, is confronted with the emergence of new audiences attached to issues related to gender, cultural diversity, memory competition, and ecology.

6) The financial contexts : specificities of the Centre in this field

The Centre is concerned - like other structures - by questions related to its modes of financing, to the place given to patronage, in a variable international, economic and health context.

7) Evolution of communication methods

Increasing virtualization of content and exhibition (on the internet, on social networks).

8) Cooperation between the Centre's departments, with associated entities (IRCAM, BPI)

joint proposals, links and intersections.

9) The CGP, a privileged place for philosophers

Eminent place of philosophers who contribute to the activities of the Centre. Michel de Certeau's role within the CCI and the review Traverses founded by François Barré. The exhibition of the CCI, "Les Immatériaux", of which one of the two curators was J.-F. Lyotard. One can wonder how the CGP can be a philosophical object.

10) A look back at some of prominent personalities of the CGP

Among the presidents: Jean Maheu who has just passed away, Dominique Bozo ; among the department directors : Pontus Hulten ; among the the project: initiators : Blaise Gautier, founder of the "Revue parlée", etc.

11) Open list of archives

The collaboration between the History Committee and the Pompidou Centre will allow researchers privileged access to the archives and documentary resources of the institution.

Other funds that could be sought:

- IMEC funds. (Keyword “Beaubourg”, for example)- The Pierre Bourdieu funds: made available to researchers as of February 1, 2022, by the Campus Condorcet GED- The archives of the parliamentary assemblies: the preliminary reports and parliamentary debates: the debates and laws creating the Georges Pompidou National Art and Culture Centre- The archives of the parliamentary channel broadcasts, those of the INA, on the controversies, the perception of the CGP.

Submission guidelines

Deadline : before June 1, 2022.

Proposals for papers (3000 signs, including spaces), presenting in particular the method used, the periodization and the materials mobilised, written in French, should be sent, together with a C.V. and a presentation of the author, to the following address : comitehistoire@culture.gouv.fr

Additional information can be obtained at the same address.

The proposals will be submitted to the scientific committee.The answers will be communicated no later than July 15, 2022.

Scientific committee

  • Pascal Ory (président)
  • Françoise Benhamou
  • Thibault Boulvain
  • François Chaslin
  • Marie Cornu
  • Michel Decoust
  • Florence Descamps
  • Laurent Fleury
  • Brigitte Gilardet
  • Xavier Greffe
  • Nathalie Heinich
  • Thomas Hélie
  • Michel Melot
  • Jean-Baptiste Minnaert
  • Mathieu Potte-Bonneville
  • Guy Saez
  • Julie Verlaine

More information about the History Committee of the French Ministry of Culture

Places

  • 182 rue Saint Honoré
    Paris, France (75)

Date(s)

  • Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Keywords

  • histoire, Centre Geroges-Pompidou

Contact(s)

  • CHMC Comité d'histoire
    courriel : comitehistoire [at] culture [dot] gouv [dot] fr

Information source

  • Agathe DE LEGGE
    courriel : agathe [dot] de-legge [at] culture [dot] gouv [dot] fr

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The first fifty years of the Georges Pompidou Centre: balance sheets and prospects », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, March 28, 2022, https://calenda.org/983420

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