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The Transitory Museum

Emanuele Coccia, Donatien Grau

ISBN: 978-1-509-53307-7 February 2019 Polity 140 Pages


Throughout modernity there has been a clear divide between art and commerce. Objects could either be consumed as commerce or contemplated as art. Today, as museums are facing increasing financial pressure and as stores have become inventive locations for new modes of display, this clear divide has begun to dissolve.

There is one place that represents a key stage in this evolution: 10 Corso Como. It was founded in Milan, at that very address, by fashion editor Carla Sozzani and has since expanded to Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and New York. The name “concept store”, which has now spread across our globalized world, was originally coined to describe this new form.

This book is the first philosophical inquiry into this new form of store and it sheds new light on how categories that have governed our modern lives, such as commerce, art, fashion, and museum, are being redefined today.

  • Foreword. In Action
  • Chapter 1. Absolute Commerce
  • Chapter 2. The Eternal and the Ephemeral
  • Chapter 3: The Confines of Fashion
  • Postface. At Calm
  • Notes

“Coccia and Grau's insightful account of 10 Corso Como presents a model where multiple disciplines do not just sit side by side but blend together holistically under one roof. This is a compelling case study of a transitional and ever-shifting space that is wholly in tune with the rhythm and pace of our time.”
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London

“Is some of the future of the art museum to be found in the intimate experience that comes in 10 Corso Como, the ultimate, curated ‘concept store’? Coccia and Grau have found food for museum thought in a retail temple of fashion and living.”
Michael Govan, CEO and Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art