Branly vs. Bismarck

I was walking by the Musee du Quai Branly and saw the poster advertising the show on the African Dogon people and culture. I went in and up that endless, mindless, purposeless wavy staircase/thing to the exhibition space(s) thinking, “Who needs this? Just give me a box with off-white walls like the Pinacotheque where I can see stuff not have an architectural happening. Why do architects think we want to see their brilliance not that of the artists shown within?” I realized I was a week or two early for the Dogon and bailed out.

Across the charming bridge to the other side and the Mona Bismarck Foundation where a beautiful exhibition of Gustave Courbet landscapes (with a couple of erotic sketches thown in for us old lechers) is showing until June 4th. What a difference from the Branly – the art, not the ego, was the point.

Two wows for Courbet; several groans for Jean Nouvel and a sigh for Jacques Chirac, our ex-Mayor and ex-President, who so wanted the Branly museum to carry his name. Maybe once he finishes his probable sentence he’ll be rehabilitated, Alain Juppé style.


One Response to “Branly vs. Bismarck”

  1. Comment by Ron Fox | 03/29/11 at 8:38 am

    Totally agree, Branly is about the architect, not the art. An ego trip for Nouvel, a bummer for the viewer.

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