Exhibition The Louvre Invites J. M. G. Le Clézio – The Museum World
from November 5, 2011 to February 6, 2012
Exposition Le Louvre invite J. M. G. Le Clézio – Le Musée monde - Baron de mer, 1978
© Galerie Monnin
Le Louvre invite J. M. G. Le Clézio benefits from the support of Louis Vuitton.
Reviving the idea of the cabinet of curiosities and in response to 2008 Nobel Laureate in Literature J.M.G. Le Clézio’s choice of theme—“Museums are worlds”—this exhibition features historic and contemporary works from Haiti, Mexico, Africa, and Vanuatu.
As for André Malraux, for J.M.G. Le Clézio, there is no “hierarchy in art.” As such, the exhibition revives the idea of the cabinet of curiosities, jumbling together a collection of works as diverse as historic paintings, revolutionary engravings, Haitian paintings, mats from Vanuatu, Voodoo objects, Mexican ex-votos, ethnographic items from different civilizations, and contemporary works, transcending geographical and temporal boundaries to blend folk art and high art according to the same viewpoint.
This “sidestep” from the confines of the Musée du Louvre’s cultural heritage proposed by J.M.G. Le Clézio is justified by his literary cartography, his commitment, and personal sensibility. Yet such a discrepancy is not out of keeping with the Musée du Louvre’s original story; the presence of these works appears neither offbeat nor anecdotal when we remember that the Louvre housed the Musée de la Marine naval museum, which included France’s first ethnographic museum and the first museum devoted to the Americas, whose collections now form the Musée du Quai Branly and the Musée de l’Homme.
Directly related to J.M.G. Le Clézio’s literary universe, the exhibition focuses on four areas—Africa, Mexico, Vanuatu, and Haiti. Formal, historic, or aesthetic bridges will be revealed to make these territories into true “contact zones.”
Marie-Laure Bernadac, General curator, special advisor on contemporary art in the Louvre, assisted by Pauline Guelaud.
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