Université Paris 8
2 Rue de la Liberté, 93526 Saint-Denis

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Theater performance at the museum: a new transcultural mediation

International symposium

May 22-23, 2017

Grand Palais
Exhibition « Des Grands Moghols aux Maharajahs. Joyaux de la collection Al-Thani »
Entrance: square Jean Perrin, avenue du Général Eisenhower
75008 Paris
Metro: Champs-Elysées Clémenceau (lines 1 and 13)

MNAAG-Guimet
19 avenue d’Iéna
75116 Paris
Metro: Iéna (line 9)


We aim to understand, experiment and analyse methods of reception of the permanent collections in a specific context: when the audience is actively involved in a theater performance in situ, in front of the artworks, by performing artists who interpret them in a sensitive, creative and not only historical and didactic way. This symposium will also address the issue of displacing museum artworks within an exhibition space (Grand Palais, 2017).


The plastic artworks chosen will be inseparable from other artistic practices, sometimes related to rituals. This selection takes an interest in new types of mediation created by actors-performers both related to material (belonging to museum collections geographically distant from their country of origin) and immaterial (passed on through language and gestures) heritage.


Their particularity lies in giving a main role to the theater gesture to translate/transpose/pass on the meaning(s) of plastic artworks in relation to several languages (particularly sign language and vernacular languages), with stage writing and other arts. We seek to understand how performing arts become a new kind of transcultural mediation at the museum and promote and invigorate the relation between the permanent collections of this institution and the vernacular minority cultures related. During this symposium, artists and researchers involved since 2016 in the project will give evidence of their experimentations led in several countries of Europe, Latin American, Canada and Asia.

Labex Arts-H2H

The Laboratory of Excellence in Arts and Human Mediations is part of the “Investments for the future” program since 2011. As part of this program, its members conduct research following three main lines: situations, technologies, hybridization.

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