Taran taraaa

In my personal quest to visit every last museum in Paris before I am dragged kicking and screaming back to Blighty, I went to the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature yesterday. I am not normally a fan of hunting, but I think that man -and woman-was meant to be an omnivore and that the world has become very hypocritical about it’s food. How many kids these days realise or even care where their hamburger started life?

This Musee has an incredibly ‘personal’ feel to it. It’s pretty new, having been created by the Francois and Jaqueline Sommer Foundation in 1964 and is housed in the Hotel Guénégaud – a mid 1600s building which has had a major face lift in the past few years.

The artist Saint Clair Cemin was comissioned to design chandeliers, door handles and banisters in keeping with the theme of the museum and indeed, these are what first strikes the visitor. Cast in bronze, they take the form of plants, antlers and other aspects of the hunt setting the scene for the rest of the museum. Walking up the stairs holding the scaly banister sends a shiver down the spine. Cemin also cast bronze panels showing many aspects of the hunt–heads, shotguns, birds-dreamlike or nighmarish depending on your perceptions.

The museum is set out as a series of cabinets, each dedicated to one or two aspects of the hunt. The Cabinet Rubens, with it’s spooky feathered ceiling, chasse1

the Cabinet de la Lincorne, with it’s curiosities. The overall feel is that of a Victorian collector’s house, all creaky floorboards and stolidy ticking clocks. Yet this museum has much modern art too. Jeff Koons’ ‘Puppy’ is here, and many other pieces relevant to the theme. It has an installation room on the ground floor which is actually, at the moment, quite frightening, showing Tania Mouraud’s ‘Roaming’-a dramatic,  noisy black and white depiction of violence, death and dying.

I really didn’t expect to find much to my taste in this museum, only wanting to add it to my ‘collection’, but I was surprised and amazed to find so much to be excited about there. I will definately return-soon.

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~ by entropycottage on January 14, 2009.

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