Last Days of Carambolages-Grand Palais

Poster for Carambolages, Carambolages RMN Grand Palais, Paris

Poster for Carambolages

Colleen’s Take Away: This style of museum visit could be the future: Necessity to look at each object because each is related to the previous and to the next; Listening to sounds or music on your smartphone to set the tone.

The exhibit poster gives no indication of what to expect. In the end, the exhibit is the unexpected. I recommend the exhibit “Carambolages” if you have time before it ends July 4.

Colleen’s Tip: Best visited using the app. Download the app (Apple and Android) and its three parts either in advance or at the Grand Palais: Parcours sonore (sound), which I used throughout, Oeuvres galerie basse (art works on the ground floor), Oeuvres galerie haute (art works on the upper floor). Layout of Carambolages exhibit . If you go with someone, it is best if you both have your own app.

The apps are in French but there is nothing to interpret. The viewer interprets each piece and the wall-mounted tablets on each row provide a close up of the image, the artist’s name, origin and date. Plan at least two hours for the visit.

Section Holes-My interpretation: Falling into, looking out of, having a hole in your side, Carambolages RMN Grand Palais, Paris

Section I call Holes: Falling into, looking out of, having a hole in your side; Vue de l’exposition Carambolages (5) Scénographie Hugues Fontenas Architecte© Rmn-Grand Palais / Photo Didier Plowy, Paris 2016

What I liked: it was a museum experience never experienced before… Art work is not labeled… At the end of each “corridor” is a wall-mounted tablet. With provenance information and a close up image. The app works before, during and after you leave the exhibit and includes all of the works with detailed information.

What I did not like: Looking at the art work’s information on your phone, turns the sound app off.

Carambolages is a billiard term, which also means chain-reaction. The one hundred and eighty five

works are arranged “in a continuous sequence, like a narrative film, where each work depends on the previous one and announces the following one,” according to the curator, Jean-Hubert Martin.

Series in the war section: cat after the mouse (pygmy shrew); cat ends up dead as a mummy. Cat, Alberto Giacometti, 1951, Sarcophagus of a pygmy shrew, Eygpt 664-332 BC, Cat mummy, Egypt 664-332 BC, Carambolages RMN Grand Palais, Paris

Series in the war section: cat after the mouse (pygmy shrew); cat ends up dead as a mummy. Cat, Alberto Giacometti, 1951, Sarcophagus of a pygmy shrew, Eygpt 664-332 BC, Cat mummy, Egypt 664-332 BC

Painting as a Pastime, 2008, Gloria Friedman; First you see Adolf Hitler (waterfall); Next is Dwight Eisenhower (trees and mountains); Last is Winston Churchill (trees and shadows), Carambolages RMN Grand Palais, Paris

Painting as a Pastime, 2008, Gloria Friedman; First you see Adolf Hitler (waterfall); Next is Dwight Eisenhower (trees and mountains); Last is Winston Churchill (trees and shadows)

The sequence of threes is in the case holding a cat after the mouse (pygmy shrew) while the cat ends up inside the cat mummy casing. Another sequence was three nature painting groupings with the works in order of Hitler, Eisenhower and then Churchill … one leads to the other. They are all very simple and calm but have darker meanings.

Listen to your eyes
“Listen to your eyes” (Maurizio Nannucci 2016) is the neon sign you see when entering the first room. For a majority of the paintings and objects on the first level, the eyes play a major role. The sound or music app (twenty-seven, one for each hallway) keeps you focused on what you see.

Bear Constellation with the sun and the moon, Korea, Choson period, 19th century, Carambolages RMN Grand Palais, Paris

Bear Constellation with the sun and the moon, Korea, Choson period, 19th century

And what you think you see is not necessarily so… What seems old is new and what seems modern is

ancient. It is all in your eyes and your interpretation, which makes the visit fun.

The sound (sonore) takes you into the sensual world of sight. As I watched many of the other visitors, they were looking at the pieces in a traditional museum visit way, chatting and discussing.  Within the world of my headsets, I was in a world apart to laugh, to think, to be surprised at the era in which certain pieces were created and fooled me.

Themes
The exhibit seems to follow grouping themes: on the ground floor, eyes are everywhere. Upstairs is sensuality, holes, good versus evil, human functions, love and war, glory, etc.

According to the Grand Palais press release for Carambolages, “… the exhibition aims to target the widest possible audience, and in particular those who have no knowledge of art history, causing shock, laughter and emotion.”

Some of the artists works are Boucher, Giacometti, Rembrandt, Dürer, Man Ray, Annette Messager, Le Brun, African, Polynesian, Asian, Indonesian, Korean, etc. The works are cross cultures, periods, genres. They are mixed but grouped according to the strength of their impact visually and mentally.

This is a selection of images. The best way to virtually relive the exhibit is with the app.

Section on eyes, body parts and spots. Ambroise Croat, Vision of Zachary, 1722 in the background Ghost of Oiwa-san in the lantern, Katsushika Hokusai, the  1831-1832 Gants-tête, Annette Messager, French visual artist, 1999 Scenography, Septik River, No. 15 B. Lavier, and footed bowl, Panama, 850-1000 Crested ornament, Sepik river, Papua New Guinea, Oceania 20th century Bathing nymph, Johan Tobias Sergel, 1767-1778 Bowl in the form of Marie-Antoinette’s breast, Jean-Jacques Lagrenée le Jeune, manufacture de Sèvres, 1788 Horse’s skull, Igbo, Nigeria, 19th century Ejagham emblem of the Leopard Spirit, Nkpa, Cross River Nigeria, 19th century Painted hide (details) from the Northern Plaines in North America, 18th century Navigation chart, Marshall Islands, Oceania, 20th century Bear Constellation with the sun and the moon, Korea, Choson period, 19th century Section I call Holes: Falling into, looking out of, having a hole in your side; Vue de l’exposition Carambolages (5) Scénographie Hugues Fontenas Architecte© Rmn-Grand Palais / Photo Didier Plowy, Paris 2016 Officer’s vest armor pierced by a canon ball at the battle of Wagram (Austria), 1809 (section of holes)
A new recruit, François-Antoine Fauveau, aged 23 met his Waterloo Funeral monument to Pastor Longhan’s wife and their still-born son, Charles-Gabriel Sauvage, Niderviller factory, 1780 Good v. Evil-Chess pieces, 2003, Maurizio Cattelan Painting as a Pastime, 2008, Gloria Friedman; First you see Adolf Hitler (waterfall); Next is Dwight Eisenhower (trees and mountains); Last is Winston Churchill (trees and shadows) Series in the war section: cat after the mouse (pygmy shrew); cat ends up dead as a mummy. Cat, Alberto Giacometti, 1951, Sarcophagus of a pygmy shrew, Eygpt 664-332 BC, Cat mummy, Egypt 664-332 BC Cat mummy, Egypt 664-332 BC Eagle, Armory work of art, France, Musée de l’Armée 1860 and other birds of flight Section I call Love and War: Elongated figures Elongated figure (detail), Nyamwezi, Tanzania, 20th century Statuette of a woman (Aphrodite?), Etruscan, 350 BC Statuette of a woman (detail) (Aphrodite?), Etruscan, 350 BC Art in the trenches, French 1914-1918 (made from bullets) Art in the trenches, German 1915-1918 (made from bullets) In the war section: Stylized helmet of a Shachihoko, Japan, 16th-17th century War prayer rug with Kalashnikov, Afghanistan, 1985-1990 Head of a bird, sceptre, pre-Columbian, Argentina or Chili Beak of a sparrow, 1390-1400 Time cutting the wings of Love, Pierre Mignard, 1694
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Section I call Holes: Falling into, looking out of, having a hole in your side; Vue de l’exposition Carambolages (5) Scénographie Hugues Fontenas Architecte© Rmn-Grand Palais / Photo Didier Plowy, Paris 2016

GRAND PALAIS, GALERIES NATIONALES
Application, flyer, exhibit information
3, avenue du Général Eisenhower 75008 Paris
Metro Line 1, Clémenceau
March 2, 2016 to July 4, 2016
Open: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Wednesday evening: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Closed on every Tuesdays.