Fall 2008 Residency: Jen Allen

Gift of René Payant

During the month of September 2008, Jen Allen participates in Artexte’s Residency Programme.

In 1988, shortly after the death of art historian, critic and curator René Payant, Artexte received an important donation of local, national and international publications on art from his personal collection. Jen Allen’s research project aims to transform this group of publications into a documentary network. The inventory of books referring to exhibitions, artists, galleries and museums redirects the reader to Payant’s own writing, revealing links between his activities as an art critic and the arts scene from the 70’s and 80’s. A transformative movement can be traced between the exhibition and its reception by examining two types of description: one for the catalogue and one for criticism. Finally, Jen Allen investigates the very status of the exhibition catalogue – singular and multiple object, private possession and collective tool, souvenir and history.

A graduate of Université de Montréal and McGill University, Jennifer Allen has lived in Berlin since 1996. Her writings – reviews, essays and reports – have been published in Artforum, Frieze, Parkett, Metropolis M, Afterall, Frog, SITE. Her most recent work includes essays on Carsten Höller (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary), Nairy Baghramian (Bidoun), Bojan Sarcevic (Frieze) and Mario Testino (Philipps de Pury). In Germany Allen writes regularly for the magazines Zitty and Monopol as well as for the newspaper Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung.