July 02, 2006
Quai Branly

Many fine quotes in Kimmelman's review of the Quai Branly museum in Paris. Like:

The legacy of Duchamp has turned everything in a museum into a readymade. It's no longer possible to look at a Yoruba voodoo object as purely functional, rather than also (perhaps) terrific looking, or to see a Michelangelo as merely beautiful, rather than also as a product of a moment, a society, a religious tradition. Even if it were possible, it would be terribly unfashionable.

It's a terribly negative review, with the endgame being that the Quai Branly is about the museum - the architecture - more than the contents and contexts.

AZ and I spent a half day in another museum that seemed unapproachable, but maintained a fine set of contexts. The Musée Carnavalet. This is a fine museum, though clearly not designed for weak-french-lanuage tourists. it does maintain the context of the history of Paris nicely, even if you (as we did) get lost and approach the centuries in the wrong order. Part of this is aided by being housed in several conjoined old Hotels, so the architecture matches the artifacts being presented.

And a ...pickhits... tip - grab a bite at the Swedish Cultural Institute located nearby. Delicious sandwiches on flatbread, a sunny courtyard and a polyglot crowd.

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Posted by esinclai at July 02, 2006 11:54 AM |