Paris

“Voids: A Retrospective”

Centre Pompidou

I keep wishing “Vides: Une Retrospective” (Voids: A Retrospective) were a work of art, but it wasn’t. It aimed to be a retrospective survey. The curators—John Armleder, Mai-Thu Perret, Mathieu Copeland, Gustav Metzger, and Clive Phillpot (along with curators from the two hosting institutions, Laurent Le Bon of the Centre Pompidou and Philippe Pirotte of Kunsthalle Bern, where the show will travel in September)—brought together nine past exhibitions where the artist left the exhibition space empty and fundamentally unaltered. They chose to simply present these shows through other empty, unaltered exhibition spaces that were neither reconstitutions nor new works. At the Centre Pompidou, “Voids” occupied a section of the fourth floor normally dedicated to the permanent collection. This juxtaposition of empty rooms and habitual museum displays was a knockout. It showed the physical context of

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