Paul Otlet's infinite inventory

Date :
07/04/2019 to 15/09/2019
Place :
au Mundaneum
Public :
tout public, scientifique, artistes
Price :
7€ - 5€ - 2€

Visualize knowledge, understand the world

The visionary schematic of Paul Otlet at the heart of 3 exhibitions! (Mons - Grand Hornu - Paris)

Between Arts and Science, the Mundaneum Exhibition Commission will be represented by Denis Gielen, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Arts "Le Mac’s" (GrandHornu) and Stéphanie Manfroid, Mundaneum Archivist.

OPENING April 7th 11.00

The Mundaneum is this emblematic place where knowledge is considered a definite and finite element. Based on this utopia of knowledge imagined at the end of the 19th century, the idea of ​​an encyclopaedic collection, sometimes devoted to books, their references, documentation, iconography, and a museum called World Mundaneum.
Quickly installed in the Cinquantenaire, this museum, dating back to 1910, gives pride of place to history, geography and science, according to the method of classification the Universal Decimal Classification. Designed as a museum of facts and ideas, it is intended, above all, a visual and visual encyclopedia where objects, models and explanatory panels are crossed. As a graphic work in its own right, these panels form an Atlas of knowledge that is both synthetic, representative and quickly understandable. Nearly 8000 images compose this Atlas, considered by the founder Paul Otlet, under the name of Encyclopaedia Universalis Mundaneum.
Author in 2007 of the "Atlas of contemporary arts for the use of all", Denis Gielen is familiar with the inventory work of artistic expression. Curator of numerous exhibitions at Mac's, attracted by new proposals of worldview, Denis Gielen discovers Paul Otlet, his world and modes of expression thanks to Fiona Tan, a Dutch artist. While she is concocting an exhibition entitled "Shadow Archive" for the MAC's (Hornu), her director meets the unique eye of an artist, his drawings, his sketches, Paul Otlet.
Interest in the work of memory already experienced during a career dedicated to artists and their works and admiration for this desire to record the world and its knowledge produce a meeting almost unlikely between art and the knowledge.
The infinite inventory proposes to discover this encyclopedic Atlas, created in the last century, while going beyond its factual form and content, to appreciate its graphic and aesthetic qualities. It is this look between the work of a man who wanted to classify the world and one who wants to see in this heritage a unique artistic expression that the Mundaneum invites you to discover through a selection among these original drawings.
In resonance with these two exhibitions, will be held at the Museum of the CNAM (Museum of Arts and Crafts) in Paris a temporary exhibition on the diagrams of Otlet : Visualization of knowledge  from May 6, 2019 to June 30, 2019 which the Commissioner is Wouter Van Acker. A study day will take place on May 21st in Paris.


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