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Un cosmopolitisme esthétique? De l’effet magiciens et d’autres antinomies de l’hospitalité artistique globale

Abstract

The year 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of Magiciens de la Terre –one of the twentieth century’s most controversial and ambitious exhibitions–, offering us more than sufficient excuse to rethink 1989 in the framework of the global geopolitics of art. The aim of this text is to briefly address some of the curatorial projects, theories of (alter)modernity and globalist ideologies that gravitate around this exhibition and that set 1989 as degree zero of the ‘global turn’ in art. For our purposes here, we will call this geo-aesthetic reconfiguration of Occidentalism the ‘magiciens effect’: the premise that art became global in 1989, in Paris, due to Magiciens de la terre, and that the aesthetic hierarchies of modernity were dissolved in the process.

BARRIENDOS, Joaquín (2014), “Un cosmopolitisme esthétique? De l’effet magiciens et d’autres antinomies de l’hospitalité artistique globale” in: Géo-esthétique. Paris, Éditions 42, pp. 157-163.

This 25th year anniversary has led to numerous commemorative exhibitions, seminars, and institutional statements. Having become enmeshed in the crisis of postcolonial ethnographic authority that affects museums that mistook internationalism for universality, the Centre Pompidou took advantage of the situation to review the geo-aesthetic map that shaped its collections and institutional discourses, organising seminars (Magiciens de la Terre: vingt-cinq ans après. Le 25ème anniversaire d’une exposition pionnière, à l’orée de la mondialisation de l’art), exhibitions of ‘global art’, and a series of publications (Décentrements, Arts et mondialisation, anthologie de textes de 1950 à nos jours). Meanwhile, in late 2013, the publishing organisation Afterall released the second volume in the series ‘Exhibition Histories’ under the title Making Art Global (Part 2).  ‘Magicines de la Terre’ 1989. In April 2014, in collaboration with Afterall, the Tate Modern organised the series of debates and projections ‘Magiciens de la Terre’ Reconsidered.

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