A coédition a.p.r.e.s éditions / Centre national des arts plastiques
A utopia born of the imagination of gallerist and author Rüdiger Schöttle.
Or a radical re-examination of the status of the exhibition as a historical and cultural format.
Or a collection of works by Bernard Bazile, Glenn Branca, James Coleman, Fortuyn/O’Brien, Ludger Gerdes, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Marin Kasimir, Christian Philipp Müller, Juan Muñoz, Hermann Pitz, Rüdiger Schöttle, Alain Séchas and Jeff Wall.
Or a film, a slow tracking shot through this exhibition-garden, punctuated by testamonials from project collaborators and expert observers including Bernard Blistène and Xavier Veilhan.
Or a collection of previously published texts and new writing by Erika Balsom, Chris Dercon, Tristan Garcia, Dan Graham, Vincent Normand, Rüdiger Schöttle and Guy Tortosa.
The Theatergarden Bestiarium exhibition, co-produced in 1989 by the Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S. 1 Museum, in New York, and Le Confort Moderne, in Poitiers, was acquired by the Centre national des arts plastiques, in 1990.
A film by Gilles Coudert
The film by Gilles Coudert narrates the genesis of the Theatergarden Bestiarium exhibition and its evolution. Art historian Guy Tortosa recounts the singular adventure initiated by the gallerist and author Rüdiger Schöttle and realised by exhibition curator Chris Dercon, who explains how such a project came about. Artists Dan Graham, Alain Séchas and Marin Kasimir share their memories and their retrospective analysis of their experiences. Artist Xavier Veilhan champions this exhibition as a major influence for his generation while Bernard Blistène, director of France’s Musée National d’Art Moderne, looks at it through the lens of the history of theatre, gardens and cinema. The testamonials offer complementary and complete insight, shining a light on the myriad challenges presented by this exhibition prototype, regularly adjusted at each of its successive presentations.
Gilles Coudert is a screenwriter, film director, producer and publisher.
BONUS : « Theatergarten Bestiarium » A film by Rüdiger Schöttle
The film Theatergarten Bestiarium made by Rüdiger Schöttle in 1987, offered as a bonus feature, prefigures the exhibition project of the same name in the form of a scale model made of sugar and includes a soundtrack by Katharina Fritsch.
Texts by Erika Balsom, Chris Dercon, Tristan Garcia, Dan Graham, Vincent Normand, Rüdiger Schöttle and Guy Tortosa :
Guy Tortosa: Theatergarden Bestiarium or Making History
Rüdiger Schöttle: Bestiarium : Theatre and Garden of Violence, War and Happiness
Dan Graham: Theater, Cinema, Power
Chris Dercon: Many dreams of many Gardens (selected extracts)
Erika Balsom: Re-entering the Theatergarden Bestiarium
Interview by Philippe Bettinelli, Heritage Conservator at the Centre national des arts plastiques with Tristan Garcia and Vincent Normand, Heads of the Research Laboratory “Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions”.
Erika Balsom is senior lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London. She is the author of After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation (2017) and Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art (2013), as well as the co-editor of Documentary Across Disciplines (2016). She is a frequent contributor to Artforum and Sight&Sound. Chris Derconis an art historian and curator. In 2017 he became the director of the Volksbühne theatre in Berlin. Tristan Garcia is senior lecturer in philosophy at Lyon 3 University. In 2008, he defended his thesis on the concept of representation in art and published his first novel. Since then he has combined writing fiction with essays on the themes of images, ethics and animal cruelty, TV series and graphic novels. Dan Graham is an artist, performer, photographer, video maker, art critic and art theorist who became a key figure in conceptual art and counter culture. Vincent Normand is an art historian, author and curator. He teaches at ECAL (Lausanne University of Art and Design), is co-editor of the journal Glass Bead and has curated or talked at the Centre Pompidou, Witte de With,
David Roberts Art Foundation, Kadist Art Foundation, Artist’s Institute, Banff Centre and INHA. Rüdiger Schöttle is a gallerist and author. Guy Tortosa is an art historian and general inspector of artistic creation at the general directorate for artistic creation at the Ministry of Culture.