Call for Papers: Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer University, Galleries-anti-Galleries, 1-10 July 2020

Mica Gherghescu's picture
Call for Papers
March 8, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Archival Science, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Oral History, Research and Methodology

Call for Papers. Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer University 2020

Les sources au travail: Galeries-anti-Galeries


 Centre Pompidou Paris, July 1-10, 2020

 Deadline-CFP: 8 mars 2020


The Bibliothèque Kandinsky’s Summer University is a Musée National  d’Art Moderne/Centre Pompidou research program installed on the very  premises of the museum. It focuses on modern and contemporary art  primary sources: archives, documentary materials, interviews, records,  as well as new forms of artistic appropriation and documentary  production. Interdisciplinary in format, the Summer University brings  together young researchers: historians, art historians,  anthropologists, sociologists, artists, critics and curators who share  a collective reflection with art professionals and various scholars  around primary source materials. It will be held in one of the museum  rooms, around a conference table, used at the same time as a workspace  and an exhibition device for the display of documents. Facsimiles,  reproductions, and archival material will be unfolded in the space  during the working sessions. Several writing workshops will rhythm the program, as well as visits  to various documentary collections. Editorial work is at the heart of  the Summer University: a new issue of the “Journal de l’Université  d’été de la Bibliothèque Kandinsky”—conceived both as a critical  anthology based on the debates during the sessions and as an  experimental production—will be released at the end of the session.


At the beginning of the 1970s, Robert Barry initiated a series of  conceptual works famously related to Herbert Marcuse and critically  addressing the nature of art galleries as sites of both artistic and  intellectual production. Galleries were reputedly “Some places to  which we can come, and for a while “be free to think about what we are  going to do.” Echoing the permanent collection of the Musée national  d’art moderne dedicated this year to the 20th century art gallerists,  the 7th edition of Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer University will  question the different twists and turns of the “art gallery” canon. Working across primary sources, it will investigate recent phenomena  of galleries and alternative commercial spaces for art and exhibition  and implicitly the economic operations they drive.


Histories of taste, logics of collecting, sale-systems, alternative platforms of distribution and  exchange, network construction and management, institutional and  counter-institutional changes, this new edition will interrogate  alternative economies of artistic practices at stake in contemporary  structures, as well as their impact placed at a geostrategic level.

From Mexico to Istanbul, from Stockholm to Singapore by a detour to  Johannesburg, new economic forms of exchange are invented. It is also  imperative to imagine and build new tools for analyzing them.


The word “alternative” covers a wide range of meanings. The paper  proposals are expected to address the multiplicity of formats and  spaces as well as of the promoting figures and players: artist-run  spaces, apartment galleries, self-managed and hybrid alternative  venues, reinventing and redistributing practices; bookshop-galleries,  ephemeral sites and projects, Internet networks, collaborative and  community-based spaces. Case studies focused on the “anti-gallery”profile can coexist with studies on precursory, historical  genealogies.


Interrogating primary sources, the 2020 Bibliothèque Kandinsky Summer  University will go back to artistic initiatives that have lastingly  transgressed the canon of art gallery starting with the 1990s until  the present days and that have provoked new modes of creation,  representation and distribution of art.




The Bibliothèque Kandinsky’s Summer University is aimed at young  fellows (PhD candidates, PhDs, PostDocs): historians, art historians,  anthropologists, sociologists, curators, librarians, graphic designers  and artists at large.


Application file:

 – written proposal (4,500 characters/700 words) either in English or  in French, in PDF format.

 – CV which should clearly assess the candidate’s language proficiency.

 In order to apply is important to have a good command in both English  and French.


 Candidates are expected to bring along a selection of sources used in  their research.

 The proposal dossier will be sent to: by 8th March 2020.


The proposals will be evaluated by a scientific committee, in charge  of drawing up the final Summer University program. The Committee will  retain 25 projects. All applicants, whether selected or not, will be personally contacted  before March 16th, 2020.


A participation of € 150 will be required from each participant, who  will be provided with tuition. The participation will cover  transportation on site and institutional entries. If requested, the Centre Pompidou will be able to issue any required  certificate in order to apply for scholarship or funding from  foundations, museums, universities or research institutes.




 Gallien Déjean, art historian, curator, Ecole nationale supérieure  d’arts de Paris-Cergy

 Mica Gherghescu, historienne de l’art, Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Musée  National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris

 Céline Heytens, archivist, contemporary holdings, Bibliothèque  Kandinsky, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris

 Dominique Liquois, reference librarian documentary and scientific  watch, Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre  Pompidou

 Yekhan Pinarligil, archivist, contemporary holdings, Bibliothèque  Kandinsky, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris

 Didier Schulmann, conservateur, Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Musée National  d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris


 For any inquiry, please write to:

 Tel : +33 (0)1 44 78 46 65

 Please find the entire call at the following link:



Contact Info: 

Mica Gherghescu

Research Coordinator and Scientific Programs, Bibliothèque Kandinsky

Centre Pompidou, 75191 Paris Cedex 04, France