Panel /
"Dreaming the Encyclopedic Palace," with Massimiliano Gioni, Lynne Cooke, Hal Foster, and D. Graham Burnett

Date: Friday, 27 September 2013, 6:30–8:30 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
FREE. No RSVP necessary, but seating limited; early-bird-worm situation applies here.

Listen to an audio recording of this program, or download here.
00:00 / 00:00

Please join us for a panel discussion on “The Encyclopedic Palace,” Massimiliano Gioni’s exhibition for the 55th Venice Biennial, featuring Gioni, Lynne Cooke, and Hal Foster, and moderated by D. Graham Burnett.

On the occasion of the release of the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue, which features twenty-four essays commissioned and edited by Cabinet, the panel will examine the complex aesthetic, historical, and epistemological issues raised by Gioni’s unconventional exhibition.

Named after Marino Auriti’s mid-twentieth-century model for a museum designed to house all worldly knowledge, “The Encyclopedic Palace” was conceived, in the words of its curator, to investigate the persistence of this “dream of universal all-embracing knowledge,” shared by “many other artists, writers, scientists, and self-proclaimed prophets who have tried—often in vain—to fashion an image of the world that will capture its infinite variety and richness. Today, as we grapple with a constant flood of information, such attempts to structure knowledge into all-inclusive systems seem even more necessary and even more desperate … In the vast halls of the Arsenale, the exhibition is organized as a progression from natural to artificial forms, following the typical layout of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cabinets of curiosities. Just like Auriti’s Palace, these baroque proto-museums brought together man-made and natural wonders to construct visual compendia of the world through a science of elective affinities and magical sympathies. This associative process of knowledge, through its heterogeneous ordering of objects and images, draws interesting parallels between the wunderkammer and today’s culture of hyper-connectivity.”

A Q&A will follow.

The exhibition catalogue—commissioned and edited by Sina Najafi and Jeffrey Kastner—includes contributions by Lina Bolzoni, D. Graham Burnett, Steven Connor, Simon Critchley, Brian Dillon, Peter Galison, Anthony Grafton, Amy Hollywood, Ben Kafka, Markus Krajewski, Mark Lilla, Carol Mavor, Alexander Nagel, Arika Okrent, Andrea Pinotti, Daniel Rosenberg, Cecilia Sjöholm, Christopher Turner, Sven-Olov Wallenstein, Marina Warner, Jamieson Webster, Margaret Wertheim, Will West, and Chris Wiley.

About the Participants
D. Graham Burnett is an editor of Cabinet and a professor of history at Princeton University. His most recent book is The Sounding of the Whale (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Lynne Cooke is Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Curator of the “Rosemarie Trockel: Cosmos” show in 2012, she is currently working on an exhibition that will explore the shifting interface between mainstream and self-taught artists in the United States in the twentieth century.

Hal Foster teaches art history and theory at Princeton University. His latest book is Junkspace with Running Room (with Rem Koolhaas).

Massimiliano Gioni is Associate Director of the New Museum and Artistic Director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan. He is currently serving as Director of the 55th Venice Biennale. He has curated numerous international exhibitions and biennials including “10,000 Lives,” the 8th Gwangju Biennale (2010); “Of Mice and Men,” the 4th Berlin Biennale (2006); and Manifesta 5 (2004).

Beer for this event has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.