November 21, 2011

Draft Score for An Exhibition, 2010: a lecture performed by Pierre Bal-Blanc

Presentation of the exhibition catalogue VER SACRUM / THE DEATH OF THE AUDIENCE

Book presentation/Lecture-performance

An oral presentation given by Pierre Bal-Blanc to a jury of professionals in 2010, as part of his application to curate the 7th Berlin Biennale, is reiterated for the public of an art fair. Devised as an exhibition in several acts, the session adheres to the rules of a score performed by its author or by a third party. ‘Draft Score for An Exhibition’ (2010) has also been presented in July 2011 at Frac Ile-de-France – Le Plateau, Paris and recently in Artissima in Turin.

THE DEATH OF THE AUDIENCE: the title of the internationally acclaimed group exhibition presented at the Secession in summer 2009 was challenging, and visitors could well have perceived it as a threat. Focusing on an “older” generation of artists who created the main body of their work in the revolutionary atmosphere of the 1960s and ‘70s, the exhibition highlighted an era that for many young artists has once more become an important point of reference.

For the exhibition concept, the Secession invited the French curator and director of the Centre d’art contemporain de Brétigny, Pierre Bal-Blanc. His concept on the one hand referenced the historical locationi.e., the Secession building and the renewal of art that took place here at the turn of the nineteenth century while on the other evoking the revolutionary potential, subtle protest, and anticonsumerist strategies of the participating artists. What they all share is a critical approach to the traditional roles of artist and viewer as well as a desire to explore new ways of shaping that relationship.

The present publication goes far beyond the purely documentary. The catalog format is unusual for the Secession, but harks back to the art journal Ver Sacrum (including the advertising section) designed by Secessionists and published during the Secession’s first years of existence. The publication was conceived and designed by Pierre Bal-Blanc and the graphic designer duo VIER5. Besides extensive illustrations it includes rare artists’ texts, a statement by Bal-Blanc about his curatorial practice, and an interview with the curator.