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.

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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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