The exhibition Les Immatériaux: Interdisciplinarity, Epistemology, Curatorial Subjects

Project: Research

Project participants


Using the exhibition Les Immatériaux (Paris, 1985) as an example, this project on the history of art, culture and science examines questions on the epistemology of exhibits, on curatorial agency and on interdisciplinarity in research networks. The project takes up current questions about the relationship between materiality and immateriality, between subjectivity and thinghood, and discusses them using a historical case study. It explores the interdisciplinary network of institutions and individuals that contributed to the exhibition, as well as the position of the "curatorial subject" or curator, which for Les Immatériaux is usually attributed exclusively to the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard, although the latter worked in a collaborative and open process with a team around the design theorist Thierry Chaput. The project examines the epistemological status of the objects and artworks on display, which not only illustrate the curatorial conception but transcend what is theoretically conceived, and which actively participate not only in the production of meaning and knowledge in the finished exhibition but also in its conceptual development. Finally, Les Immatériaux is situated in the context of the history of exhibitions.