Based on the exhibition Die Welt als Labyrinth
, which he co-curated at the MAMCO in 2018, Paul Bernard analyses the failed experiment of an exhibition of the Situationists that ought to have taken place at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1959. By means of writings by members of the Situationist International
, this essay attempts to complement and reconstruct their ambivalent relationship with the format of the exhibition, the museum and the institution.
"In 2018, the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain de Genève (MAMCO) presented Die Welt als Labyrinth
, an exhibition devoted to the early years of the Situationist International (S.I) and the various movements it derived from. Conscious of the complexity of such a project, we began work on it a year earlier, setting up a curatorial committee (composed of Lionel Bovier
, Gérard Berréby, Julien Fronsacq, John M Armleder
, Mai-Thu Perret
, Swana Pilhatsch-Morenz and Luca Bochicchio) which enabled us to quickly get in touch with a network of specialists. For my part, I was able to travel to Paris, Albissola, Prato, Venice, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Silkeborg in the space of a year to meet collectors, historians, curators and artists who were more or less directly related to the S.I. Nearly all of these meetings were fascinating, supportive and even downright enjoyable. But there were a few condescending grimaces from people who found our project to be deplorable. How indeed to conceive an exhibition about the Situationists without distorting the meaning of their action?"
Paul Bernard is director of the Centre d'art Pasquart, Biel. He was curator at MAMCO
, Geneva, from 2013 to 2022.