musée d'art contemporain
de Bordeaux

Exhibition // Artists’ Books //

16.05.2015 -> 06.09.2015

Que sais-je ?

Artists’ Books and Editions from the Serralves Foundation collection

The CAPC, museum of contemporary art in Bordeaux, inaugurates with the exhibition "Que sais-je ?" a new program dedicated to Artist's book. 


Que sais-je ? Is the name of the most renowned paperback encyclopedia. Founded in 1941, this collection was conceived in order to give the general public knowledge from extremely diverse fields. 3800 headings by 2,500 authors have been published since its beginnings.

In what way can these publications, in addition to certain headings dedicated to this theme, have a connection with contemporary art?

Atlases, dictionaries, encyclopedias – classic forms through which to collect and transmit knowledge – are models which have been reproduced (and parodied) repeatedly by the art produced by the first avant-gardes of the 20th century. This interest can be explained by the desire to rethink what we consider knowledge, information and communication to be.

Presenting lists, tables, graphics or just simply texts by artists – proving in this way that the latter can contribute to the production of knowledge as easily as texts by essay writers, philosophers or scientists – these publications offer an artistic production as an alternative form of teaching and learning.

The artists in this exhibition interrogate the relationship between their work and the models for the transmission of knowledge – this is evidenced by the recourse to parodying dictionaries, encyclopedias, teaching methods, as well as the deliberate destruction of information conveyed by magazines and newspapers. These are people who are looking for knowledge, people who take the path less traveled in life, people who try to invent a new world, but who, in opposition to the traditional knowledge/clarity association, produce objects without worrying about whether they will immediately be understood. These are people motivated by a certain way of giving birth to ideas and rethinking the intellectual territories we know so well. For them, ironic allusions to order remind us that, in art, confusion can be a truly marvelous fact.


Ricardo Nicolau, Exhibition Curator

Musée d’Art Contemporain de la Fondation Serralves, Porto (Portugal).

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The exhibition Que sais-je ? is organized by the Museum of Serralves, Porto in association with CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux.


-> Artist(s): Bas Jan Ader, Pedro Barateiro, Robert Barry, Lothar Baumgarten, Alighieri Boetti, John Bock, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Paulo Bruscky, Ernst Caramelle, Miguel Carneiro, Isabel Carvalho, Tacita Dean, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Robert Filliou, Ana Jotta, Dayana Lucas, Charlotte Moth, Bruno Munari, Paulina Olowska, Adrian Piper, Ad Reinhardt, André Romão, Dieter Roth, Allan Ruppersberg, Batia Suter, Richard Tuttle, Ricardo Valentim, Ben Vautier, Christopher Williams, !Von Calhau!

-> Disabled access
-> Price: Museum Entrance, 6,50 € (full price) ; 3,50 € (reduced price)

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