The arts have changed since 1885, and Les Grands Spectacles sets out to document this evolution in three phases. Starting with the invention of film and the standardisation of the bourgeois theatre-house in the late 19th century, the book then focuses on the modernisation and dissemination of the mass media after World War Two, and finally arrives at the situation of art at the beginning of the new millennium, where events cultivate a theatrical quality, and the individual’s every intimate impulse can become entertainment for the masses. Les Grands Spectacles also shows what effects these changes have had on art or have been spurred by art, and how the social significance of the sensational, the tragic or the deceptive has been understood in art and the material of the spectacle explored, extended, hijacked, altered or destroyed in artworks. Artists in the exhibition include Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Vanessa Beecroft, Maurizio Cattelan, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Marcel Duchamp, Marlene Dumas, Sylvie Fleury, Nan Goldin, Dan Graham, Richard Hamilton, Damien Hirst, Candida Höfer, Martin Kippenberger, Yves Klein, Gustav Kluge, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, El Lissitzky, Robert Longo, Paul McCarthy + Jason Rhoades, Jonathan Meese, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Otto Mühl, Takashi Murakami, Dennis Oppenheim, Raymond Pettibon, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Mimmo Rotella, Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Jean Tinguely, Cindy Sherman, Joel Sternfeld, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Nicola Tyson, Dziga Vertov, Catherine Wagner, Andy Warhol, Franz West, and many, many others. Essays by Magrit Brehm, Roberto Ohrt and Klaus Theweleit.