At a glance the Other
History of European eyes on Africa, America and Oceania
At a glance, and one devoted to successive visions brought by Europeans on the cultures of Africa, the Americas and Oceania. This program is a pretext to put into perspective by thematic series, the relativity of our eyes on the threshold of a new museum. Rather than return to the past, this catalog (and exhibition which is the source) marks a starting point.
From the Renaissance to today, the "idols of the Indians", "instruments of the natives," "primitive fetishes," "Negro Sculpture" or "first arts" were the witnesses of likes and dislikes, revealing reflections on otherness. The originality of this publication reflects historical depth that allows to include these objects in a broader history of art.
The Musée du Quai Branly appealed not only to works of other cultures, reflecting the first contacts with Europe, but also to European works within the midst of which they were placed. The catalog shows as well, in a strange series of chapters, how European eyes have gradually allowed other creations from, for example, curiosity amazed rankings systematic evolutionary wanderings of the images of the Universal.
Throughout the pages, the reader travels with the Nave of Charles V., Écouen treasure museum, portraits of Indians of Brazil painted in 1637 for the palace of the Prince of Nassau, rhinoceros horn cups Habsburg Pre-Columbian mask of turquoise mounted by the Medici in a piece of jewelry, the Afro-Portuguese ivories of the sixteenth century, the Tahitian mourner's costume brought by Captain Cook, a mysterious Crystal Skull, The Snake Charmer Henri Rousseau's , mask Punu acquired by Picasso in 1908, Black and White Man Ray ...
352 pages format 25.8 x 28.5 cm
420 color illustrations
retail price: 49 €
isbn 2-915133-32-8 / 2-7118-5219-9
Co-published Branly / RMN
Yves Le Fur, deputy director of collections and heritage, head of the permanent collections, the Musée du Quai Branly
Zeno Bianu Monique Jeudy-Ballini, Adrienne Kaeppler, Maureen Murphy, Pascal Riviale, Nanette Snoep, Claude Stefani, Françoise Viatte.
At a glance the Other
September 18, 2006 to January 21, 2007, Garden Gallery
This exhibition puts into perspective the multiplicity of views that Europe has brought about the cultures of Africa, America and Oceania, discovered mainly by sea, from the Renaissance to the present.
Veritable manifesto for the new museum, it raises the question of otherness through a unique set of objects. Idols, trinkets, exotic fetishes, primitive sculptures trace the diversity of approaches that initiate a history of Western culture in its relation to the Other, sometimes perceived as being original, pure and innocent, sometimes as savage or cannibal bloodthirsty instincts.
Europe and parts are also shown to better understand the context in which the works of other cultures could be accommodated.
This walk through time and space to monitor calls and vagaries of taste, between wonder and awe, curiosity and fantasy, contempt and recognition.
the route of exposure
The exhibition is organized around major themes that are available from a number of historical landmarks. Included are constants: the recurring presence of a certain type of objects (including weapons), some images (the wild, Eden) and the permanence of a constantly renewed reflection on man and universe.
1. Theatre World
This first table looks History begins in the Renaissance from the late fifteenth century with the first conquests of the "terra incognita", including the coasts of Africa and Ancient America, and ends around 1760 when to specify the mapping study and body anatomy. Knowledge of outside and inside are then echoed the same desire encyclopedic.
The cabinets of curiosity or "chambers of wonders" also appeared with the aim of gathering together in a microcosm of the macrocosm of the universe, all knowledge, new technologies.
Thus, all sorts of miscellaneous objects (which relates to jewelry and clothing, rare and precious materials, shells, insects, plants with medicinal properties allegedly, fossils, skulls and skeletons, the remains of the Antiquity ...) Are they together according to their shape and their power analog.
2. natural history of the world
Between 1760 and 1800 about Pacific exploration encourages the encounter of worlds seemingly antagonistic. Large shipments often consists of scientists, botanists, cartographers, and watercolor painters led by great navigators: Cook, Bougainville, La Perouse, the most illustrious, plying the South Seas. The look of these travelers on the manners and customs of the "natural" influence the taste of Europeans. The gold coins, ivory or feathers, for example, are particularly popular and sought after.
The notion of "noble savage" about people, and that of "exotic curiosities' own works performed in these distant lands grows alder Enlightenment. In the West, is born of the feeling is strange, singular, unusual, inseparable from a kind of fascination mixed with fear for these objects, being diverted from their original destination, are growing in mystery.
3. herbarium specimens or the general world
The first half of the nineteenth century was marked by a growing interest in natural sciences. Flora, fauna, as well as "material production" of indigenous peoples of America and Oceania are classified, indexed, cataloged according to their provenance and use, and begin to take place in the first European museums. This expanded collection due to a deepening of knowledge does not exclude a distorted or transposed, often idealized and picturesque country and met men. The traveling artist responds to the imaginary referred methodological scholars. The evidence from this period thus often oscillate between documentary realism and open to the exotic stereotype wonderful.
4. science of peoples, the invention of mankind
Although slavery was abolished in France in 1848, his gaze focused on the Other, from the 1850s, has not ennobled. Far from it. Anthropometry and evolutionary theories, establishing a hierarchy among inferior races destined to disappear and superior races, are in line of colonialism and imperialism, which is behind the idea of civilization.
Ethnographic museums, in parallel, are born and grow rich through missions abroad more frequently. In this regard, the trophies well represented, and the first photographic shots illustrate the concept of capture, flourishing in the late nineteenth century. In contrast, exposure of fetishes or "rude idols" denounce the barbarity of the "native" wild qualified regularly.
It was not until the early twentieth century that other eyes alight on the so-called primitive objects and the men who created them.
5. aesthetic shift
Recognition is primarily in the early twentieth century by poets, artists and collectors Cubist Expressionist, Fauve, surreal.
This awareness of a pantheon of world art, which encompasses all cultures, through the redefinition of terms previously used. The words "wild", "negro" or "primitive" and lose their negative connotation associated with the concept of "artwork" that was not really right of citizenship. "Cannibal", "magic", "fetish" are also reused as a reaction against bourgeois codes and an academic flavor.
While the Colonial Exhibition of 1931 suggests, however, that racial prejudice is still stubborn, a reflection of increasingly sophisticated began on the identity of the object, its function, its mode of creation, although it is still matter of styles, ethnicities, and anonymity of the artist. Aesthetic criteria are no less eclectic, uneven and highly dependent on the modes that are launched and tracked ...
In 1947, André Malraux built his "imaginary museum", "immense range of invented forms" in which the primitive arts join the sacred arts of great civilizations. Since then, some major events including the entry of "primitive art" at the Louvre confirm the valuation of companies too often ignored and nobility of this look that went on to gain over time.
Is an important place for the photograph in the exhibition.
Ethnographic collections from leading French, often unpublished, portraits and landscapes are shown, reflect a certain conception of the exotic own in the nineteenth century. In the next century, photography, too, is changing its status from the stage of simple document to the rank of works of art.
This is an exhibition that brings together exceptional works (funds Branly, loans from foreign museums, contemporary art, creations ...) for 3-4 months.
His visit time is around half past one. It is planned three for the 2006-2007 season.
Arts in New Ireland
The Garden of Love, an installation by Yinka Shonibare
Looking On the Other
Curator: Yves Le Fur
Project Leader: Helen CERUTTI
Architects: Stephane Maupin, Nicolas Hugon