News Register for our weekly news digest here.

Kanal-Centre Pompidou. Photo: Marc-AntoineV/Wikipedia Commons.
Kanal-Centre Pompidou. Photo: Marc-AntoineV/Wikipedia Commons.

Kanal-Centre Pompidou Accused of “Outrageous Sexism” after Overruling Appointment of Female Director

Kanal-Centre Pompidou, the recently renovated Brussels outpost of Paris’s famed Centre Pompidou that opened in 2018, finds itself the uncomfortable center of attention after it was revealed that the institution’s board of directors overruled an independent jury’s appointment of Kasia Redzisz as director and instead unanimously voted to split the museum’s directorship between her and Bernard Blistène, the outgoing director of the Paris institution. The board’s decision suggests a lack of faith in the highly qualified Redzisz, who since 2014 has served as senior curator of Tate Liverpool and who met the standards of a jury comprising the directors of London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery and Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía, among others.

According to Brussels business daily L’Echo, six of the jury’s ten members voted in support of appointing Redzisz, who has additionally served as an associate curator at Tate London, as a curator at Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art, and as director of Poland’s respected Open Arts Project. Redzisz beat out six other candidates that the jury had winnowed down from forty who answered an open call. One of the other shortlisted candidates was Blistène; scheduled to step down June 28 from his post at the Parisian museum where he has worked for some thirty years, he received the votes of the remaining four jury members. The board’s decision to divide the role between the pair was not proposed before the jury voted, nor have the details as to the division of labor between Redzisz and Blistène, each of whom has accepted the shared role, been made public.

A number of artists and arts workers have signed an open letter to the Centre Pompidou demanding that the board rescind its decision, which it characterizes as “an offensive act of sexism and a blatant insult to [Redzisz’s] expertise and capacities,” noting that Redzisz applied for the position on her own, not in tandem with Blistène. “We ask them . . . to follow the judgment of the jury, and to appoint Kasia Redzisz as the sole artistic director,” reads the missive. “Time is up for boys playing dirty power games at the expense of women’s professional careers.” Among the letter’s signatories to date are artists Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Lucy McKenzie; Niels Van Tomme, director of Argos Centre for  Audiovisual Arts, Brussels; and Manuel Segade, director of Madrid’s CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo.

ALL IMAGES

LATEST NEWS