Film and New media
The Centre Pompidou has one of the very first collections in the world dedicated to film, video, sound and digital media.
The collection was started in 1976, at the same time that the Musée national d'art moderne was transferred to the building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. Its audacious aim was to promote the idea of heritage linked to these emerging, ephemeral, experimental media, and to observe the rapid changes at work within our society.
The Centre Pompidou’s film collection includes films by experimental directors, art films, and installations by visual artists. In 1976, Pontus Hulten, the first director of the Musée National d'Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou, commissioned a programme entitled "A history of the cinema" from Peter Kubelka, a key proponent of the experimental school, for which the museum bought the first hundred films making up the core of the collection.
The collection is unique in the world and comprises 1,400 works - most of which are on film - by visual artists and film directors from a wide range of geographic and cultural backgrounds. From the avant-garde of the 1920s with Walter Ruttmann, Hans Richter, Fernand Léger or Man Ray, to the expanded cinema of the 1960s with Robert Whitman, Anthony McCall and Paul Sharits and contemporary art cinema (Steve McQueen, Mark Lewis, Tacita Dean), the collection covers over a century of experimental and artistic cinematographic practices which have developed on the periphery of industrial cinema.
Each year, the Centre Pompidou acquires new works, both historic and contemporary, which it preserves in their original format. One of its tasks is to conduct constantly updated digitisation campaigns in order to safeguard our film heritage. Another is to distribute these films, which it does through all the means provided by today's digital technology.
Installation sonore. 4 cubes en bois perforés (50.7 x 50.7 x 50.7)cm, 6 fluos de couleur rouge, verte et bleue, 2 H.P. amplifiés.
1 synchronisateur de lumière BB, 4 modules DMX, 1 CD audio, 26 min 33 sec
© Angela Bulloch. Photo : Centre Pompidou, Mnam-Cci/Georges Meguerditchian/Dist. Rmn-Gp
1 vidéoprojecteur, 2 haut-parleurs, 1 film 16 mm transféré sur D5 NTSC, 16/9, 24', couleur son stéréo surrounding, 1 affiche, 1 livret. Dimensions de la salle : 1100 x 650 cm, projection de 366 x 224 cm
© Adagp, Paris. Photo : Centre Pompidou, Mnam-Cci/Service de la documentation photographique du Mnam/Dist. Rmn-Gp
14 peintures (acrylique sur bois), 2 objets/sculptures, (fibre de verre), 1 sculpture pyramidale (bois), 11 projecteurs, 6 haut-parleurs, 1 orgue de son, 1 CD audio (anglais), 11 bandes vidéo, NTSC, couleur, son stéréo, (anglais), 5’ à 226’
© Tony Oursler © Adagp, Paris. Photo : Centre Pompidou, Mnam-Cci/Georges Meguerditchian/Dist. Rmn-Gp
13 bandes vidéo, son, couleur, 7 programmes sur disquettes informatiques, 10 photographies noir et blanc et couleur, 4 planches de 20 diapositives, 1 maneki neko, matériel informatique et audiovisuel divers
© Chris Marker. Photo : Centre Pompidou, Mnam-Cci/Dist. Rmn-Gp
The "new media" collection gathers over 2,600 works dating from 1963 to the present day: installations, videos, sound, digital films and interactive digital media.
From their very beginnings, these "new media" came as a critical response to the mass media. They have also been the preferred choice for conserving the memory of actions, performances, concerts and happenings. From the 1990s, “exposed cinema” and the emergence of the Internet brought new formats to the collection, while also opening it up to all the continents.
Amongst the treasures in the historical collection, there are important ensembles and unique pieces (often produced by the Centre Pompidou), pioneering video, sound poetry and experimental music: Vito Acconci, Valie Export, John Giorno, Jean-Luc Godard, Dan Graham, Mona Hatoum, Mike Kelley, Chris Marker, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Eliane Radigue, Anthony Ramos, Pipilotti Rist, Bill Viola, Nil Yalter and others.
More recent works offer a broad perspective on current artistic practices linked to the moving image, sound installations and digital experiments, such as major works by the following artists: Lawrence Abu-Hamdan, Francis Alÿs, Chen Chieh-Jen, Cao Fei, Claude Closky, Harun Farocki, Omer Fast, Dora Garcia, Marguerite Humeau, Pierre Huyghe, Ryoji Ikeda, Isaac Julien, Nalini Malani, Christian Marclay, Deimantas Narkevicius, The Propeller Group, Ugo Rondinone, Sineb Sedira, Hito Steyerl, Fiona Tan, Marie Voignier.
The works can be consulted:
- on a rotational basis in the museum's rooms;
- in the "Museum Cinema" projection room on level 4;
- in the "Film, video, sound and digital works area" on level 4, on two dedicated workstations. Free access to over 2,000 digitised works*.
*Excluding videos, CD-ROMs and sound works, which require special installations, as well as very recent acquisitions and videos currently being restored.
Thanks to a regularly renewed themed programme, the space for "Collections of film, video, sound and digital works" on level 4 of the museum also highlights a selection of works and documents from the museum collection. Recent acquisitions, critical interpretations and current events invite us to renew our perception of the analog and digital cultures of image and sound.
Who You Staring At?
Visual culture of the no wave scene in the 1970s and 1980s
1st February – 1st May 2023
The new artistic scene no wave appeared in New York's Lower Manhattan in 1978.
A visceral reaction to the dominant musical and artistic trends, a confrontational attitude and a determination to deconstruct the conventional gaze, presented here in an ensemble of multidisciplinary practices where dance, opera, music and the visual arts intersect.