Roberto Rossellini, Jacques Grandclaude, Marie Auvity, Brion Gysin, Gordon Matta-Clark, Melvin Moti
La Ferme du Buisson’s art centre presents Roberto Rossellini’s last film dedicated to the opening of the Centre Pompidou in 1977. In doing so the italian filmmaker testified to the advent of a new artistic, architectural and cultural modernity. With a camera constantly on the move and an amazing system of hidden microphones, he filmed the museum in a way nobody else ever has, catching spectators’ stunned amazement on the spot. He died in Rome on June 3, 1977, a month after finalising the film.
After 40 years in oblivion, this remarkable work has been made the beating heart of the exhibition. It is accompanied by hitherto unshown archival material from Genesium Foundation and producer Jacques Grandclaude: a step by step video montage of the director at work, extract from 11 hours of 16 mm rushes, 2500 photographs of the shoot, and hours of sync rushes recorded with Rossellini’s hidden microphones. This immersive experience of the Centre Pompidou’s first days is revisited here in a film specially made for the exhibition, in which Marie Auvity gets the original crew to talk about the making of the Rossellini film and its relationship with the Pompidou’s creative spirit.
Out of this remarkable collection of material arises the issue of how we see the museum and what it produces: its mix of democratisation and mass culture, and the invention of a new kind of visitor, a new form of museography and a new relationship with society. What kind of memory lives on in museums, and what projections, critiques and reshapings is it subject to?
In response to Rossellini’s objective approach, works from the Centre Pompidou provide resolutely subjective artistic visions. When the Italian was filming, Brion Gysin was investing his photographs of the facade with his hallucinations; and Gordon Matta-Clark had already used the building site for Conical Intersect, his most famous social and architectural work. When the Italian was filming, Melvin Moti was being born, and thirty years later he came up with No Show, a recreation of a guided tour of a museum containing no artworks. A «performance» made, he said, for the future: «a future we’re not even ready for yet.» Just as, at the time, we weren’t ready for those baffling objects, the Centre Pompidou and Rossellini’s film.
SoixanteDixSept (SeventySeven): When Rossellini filmed the Centre Pompidou An exhibition for the Centre Pompidou’s 40th anniversary. March 11-July 16, 2017