But Is It Art?

Haughty decrees are one of the French state's specialties. In a proclamation issued in April 1999, Minister for Culture Cathérine Trautmann announced her intention to create a new exhibition space in Paris for young artists — modeled on existing centers in London, Amsterdam, Berlin and New York — in an attempt to revive the French capital's flagging reputation on the international contemporary art circuit. This delicate mission was entrusted to Nicolas Bourriaud and Jérôme Sans, a pair of maverick art critics and exhibition curators who wowed the faceless bureaucrats at the Culture Ministry with a proposal teeming with 21st century buzzwords....

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