'1917' Exhibition To Open In Summer 2012, Paris

Posted on centenarynews.com on 05 January 2012
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The Centre Pompidou-Metz in Paris, France, is to host an exhibition entitled '1917' on 'artistic creation during wartime'.

The following is taken from the Centre's website:

"Abounding and multidisciplinary, this broad panorama provides an instant view of every field of creativity during this year of the First World War. It asks what such a narrow, precise context as a single year might mean for creative activity, while avoiding the pitfalls of expectations and assumptions as to the nature of wartime art.

1917 stands out for the extreme diversity of its artistic production. The exhibition sets out to convey this diversity by mapping the various positions of the artists relative to the battlefront. Taking their place alongside these masters are the amateur artists who felt the need to respond to the trials of war through creative expression such as trench art, examples of which are a high point of the exhibition. Equally important are the war artists who were sent to the front to record events, and the many individuals who, as eyewitnesses, left their memory of the conflict for posterity.

The first part of the exhibition, in Galerie 1, maps artists' positions in the face of this world event, both physically and symbolically. At a time when certain artists found themselves in direct fire along with the dead and wounded, others opted for refuge into artistic communities or more personal evasion. This first part will dwell on the question of objects and their transformation: the juxtaposition of Marcel Duchamp'sFountain and Constantin Brancusi's Princesse X. A significant number of documents pertaining to the notion of duty and the idea of proscription in 1917 will also be included here.

The second part, in the Grande Nef, takes the form of a spiral, a recurrent motif in 1917. Its leitmotif is destruction and reconstruction, both physical and psychological, faces and bodies, buildings and landscapes. Protection is thus a central notion of this second section, from camouflage to masks which appear in various forms. The ensuing loss of identity and transvestism lead into the world of theatre, whether the theatre of battle or on stage, culminating in the highlight of the exhibition: Picasso's curtain for the ballet Parade.

The exhibition will show works from public and private art and military collections, both French and international. Foremost among these will be the substantial loans by the Centre Pompidou Musée National d'Art Moderne including Picasso's overture curtain for the ballet Parade. Numerous partnerships notably with the Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine (Nanterre), the Musée de l’Armée (Paris), the Musée du service de santé des armées (Paris), the Historial de la Grande Guerre (Péronne) and the Imperial War Museum (London) have also made this show possible.

1917 has received support from the French Ministry of Defence and opens the season of exhibitions dedicated to the Great War within the scope of international commemorations in observance of the First World War. 

A reference work will be published at its opening and a symposium will be held in September 2012.

Continuing the theme of 1917, a programme of events has been scheduled including films, conferences and performances.

Claire Garnier, Centre Pompidou-Metz 
Laurent Le Bon, Centre Pompidou-Metz."

To visit the Centre-Pompidou-Metz's website for further details,click here.

Images courtesy Centre-Pompidou-Metz website