Lecture Series and Publication – DISPLAY, DESIGN and HYBRIDATIONS


Pamela Bianchi

ESADtpm – Paris 8 University

Call for papers – Lecture Series and Publication

This series of conferences aims to bring together research on the most contemporary art scene to consider them both as subjects for reflection and as opportunities to explore the exhibiting hybridizations between the ideas of display and design and, more in general, between artworks and devices, objects and environments, involving poetic and aesthetic issues.

It will be a matter of questioning both theoretical and technical/technological mutations in the field of arts, architecture and design, and above all of inscribing these latter in the movement of a historical flow to identify correlations, and differences, influences and contemporary uses. On the other hand, it will be a question of mobilizing challenges and debates regarding the new exhibition-making tendencies to generate a renewal of the forms of presentation, processes of creation and frameworks of the exhibition. Finally, it will be a question of opening up to the approaches of integration between experience, perception and restitution of reception, as well as to hybridizations between digital and analogue, real and virtual, sensory and conceptual.


The exhibition, its practices and its history, are an object of transdisciplinary study that is now explored through a multiplicity of lenses: architectural/design (Bouchier, Szacka), historical/artistic (Bishop), sociological (Heinich, Eidelman), media (Davallon), museographical (Chaumier, Desvallées, Mairesse). However, the topic remains a largely unexplored subject. As a witness of its time, the exhibition is inseparable from its context of production. Thus, a number of studies have shown the evolution of the modalities of apprehension of the exhibition, which is characterized in particular, at the turn of the 1980s, by the intensification of transnational flows and mediatization of the exhibition-spectacle (Heinich). In the same way, we note the advent of a very ontological ambiguity of the artefacts integrated into the exhibiting process (whether technical apparatuses or works in their own right), for which the devices of spatial writing appear in their most tautological dimension, that is to say, forms to be understood within the narrative that they contribute to defining.

As a starting point, it seems pertinent to mobilize the history and evolution of the exhibiting practices since the formulation of these theories, if only for the richness, the diversification of forms and the productivity of exhibitions since the 1980s. From this period, indeed, we notice a turning point in the exhibition history and evolution, as well in the modalities of design, creation, diffusion and reception.

This series of conferences intends, firstly, to put into perspective the richness and production of exhibitions since the 1980s, exploring further the ontological dimension of the exhibition-making practice as well as its moments of connection with the most contemporary poetic contents, aesthetic approaches and architectural solutions. On the other hand, it is about exploring the current ontological ambiguity of artefacts as well as the art processes exploiting the semiotic and narrative potential of visual constructions. In this sense, it is a question of answering a multiple, general and contextual issue: first, understanding to what extent the history of exhibition practices can be used as a tool to question the diffusion of trends, forms, concepts and methods of a given period; then, exploring how exhibition design and architecture have become increasingly integrated into the series of devices, contingencies, relationships and affinities put in place by contemporary art practices to suggest aesthetic experiences, narrative assemblages and poietic spaces.

We expect theoretical proposals and/or case studies of exhibitions of artists’ practices from the 1980s until today that explore moments of hybridization between art, architecture and exhibition design.

These topics will be discussed in a series of lectures held at the ESADtpm (Toulon) on Tuesday at 18:00 (Central European Time) between October 2022 and May 2023. A subsequent publication of the contributions is planned.

Please send your abstract for a 1-hour talk (1-2 pages of text, In English or French) and a short CV to Pamela Bianchi, ESADtpm ( by 11 September 2022. The selected participants will be notified in October 2022. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the ESADtpm.

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