Musée imaginaire – André Malraux

Over the last forty years of his life, French novelist and art theorist André Malraux would assemble, disassemble, and reassemble montages of photographic reproductions to create Le Musée imaginaire.

Malraux’s idea of an imaginary museum, a “museum without walls”, is a prescient manifesto of the digital age that enacts the displacement of the physical art object and the museum by photographic reproduction. And Malraux’s privileging of curatorial over artistic production is a first instance of explicitly locating the creative act in the process of assembling, grouping, and displaying works of work.