The exhibitions that have mattered (part 2)

After my first post about the exhibitions that have mattered, I remembered several others that had an impact on my career or influenced my way of thinking. I thought they deserved a post too.

I am starting this second post with the exhibition Mondrian / De Stijl at the Centre Pompidou in Paris which opened at the end of 2010 at the Centre Pompidou. I remember the space being very busy but being captivated by the work on display. I had an interest in Mondrian’s work before going to this exhibition and it completed my adoration for the artist. The exhibition was chronological and so well-made that the evolution of the artist’s practice was made clear. We could apprehend the work process from the first years to the last in a very clear way. In terms of exhibition-making and curation, it was a quite classical exhibition but very neat: the curatorial work did not take a lot of space and the power was given to the art pieces; which in that case, was appreciated. Sometimes, you just have to be quite.

People Power: fighting for peace at the Imperial War Museum, London, Summer 2017.

Last summer, when I was still in London, I went to visit People Power: Fighting for Peace at the Imperial War Museum, an exhibition about the peace movements in the U.K. It was very historical. There was a lot of content to go through. It was quite dense. But I found it so good! And I have to say, People Power: Fighting for Peace changed my perspective on the museum industry and on the role museums can have in society. Museum are not objectives. Exhibitions are made by people and can be a place to convey opinions, to changed people’s perspective on the world and to make the world a better place. It starts with what you choose to talk about as a exhibition-maker or museum professional but also how to choose to tell the stories. As result, your work can have a social impact. People Power had one on me.

Last but not least, I have to mention Big Bang Data at Somerset House in London at the beginning of 2016. It was simply amazing. The subject matter in itself: how the data changes our lives, was a challenge but was fantastically curated. The exhibition was a mix of research and information about what data means and is, works of art by artists interested in the subject and hypothesis about what will the future be in regards to it. The balance between moments of interactions and moments of contemplation was right and the amount of digital spaces or exhibits was just what was needed. The curation applied was very much linked to what was explained and displayed, which is, I believe, what makes a good exhibition. Big Bang Data was the perfect example of a well-curated; thought-through, exhibition.

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