Quai Branly Museum: first for Arts and Artifacts
Published on 9 April 2016 in Art & Museum
Inaugurated in 2006, the Musée du Quai Branly aimed to present the arts of non-European civilizations within a large national museum. Mission accomplished; the museum owns over 450,000 pieces, 3,500 of which are part of a permanent exhibition grouped into four geographic areas: Africa, Oceania, America and Asia. But that's not all, the Quai Branly Museum also presents several special exhibitions per year and their topics and themes are always interesting.
Ecuador to Senegal
"Shamans and Gods of pre-Columbian Ecuador" and "Dakar 66, chronicle of a Pan-African festival” are part of the programme through April until May 15th. The first exhibition revolves around the character of the shaman and his or her role as mediator between the terrestrial world, the celestial world and the underworld. From the study of this complex belief system comes an understanding of the philosophy and the social organisation of pre-Columbian civilisations in Ecuador. Dakar 66 revisits the first "World Festival of Black Arts" bringing together the biggest names in the African scene of the time.
Persona, tell me who you are
Can you tell me who you are? Who knows. Until November 13th, the Persona exhibition considers the often strange, and even truly disturbing, relationships that we weave with certain objects - to the point of humanising them and the way we "inject" them with humanity. From the shaman with his statuette or familiar to objects with artificial intelligence right through to children and their best ‘friend’, what is it about our relationship to the objects? Suspicion, affection, empathy, repulsion, our strange feelings are well-surveyed. The screens cover more than 200 objects and works of art, from the oldest amulet to the most confusing PLC, from the scariest mask to the most high-tech robot. So before we’re overwhelmed by our connection to all kinds of devices, from the smartphone to a quasi-human creature, let’s think about this attachment, this dependence and ask the simple question; ‘where are the boundaries of humanity?’
Picture credits: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra