This has got to be one of the most wonderful art galleries in the world! Hidden in the depths of the countryside in Poitou-Charentes, I stumbled upon this museum for contemporary art several years ago on a very cold, stormy day. Outside the wind was howling, and inside I was overwhelmed by the multi-sensory nature of many of the quite frankly challenging exhibits. My children were delighted and almost spooked by the optical illusions, the sensory rooms, the room with stuffed animals with mismatched body parts. It is a museum to challenge and question.
I visit regularly. What I find negative is the lack of information about each exhibit, but on the other hand it leads to some very exciting debate on what the artist’s intentions are. The other issue is that frequently the motorised aspects of many of the exhibits are often switched off or not working, so that I know that a new visitor will see things without the full artistic piece. Having said that, I just wanted to write here about the exhibition above. There is a grand baronial hall, where coats of arms are displayed on the walls. Coats of arms, but not as you would expect. They are made from garbage, refuse detritus, to seem like battle-scarred creatures. Spooky. I read it as a challenge to royalism, but the description online is different (Daniel Spoerri).
And so, as you walk through the grand room with garbage effect semi statues hanging from the walls, your eyes are attracted to an open door. And as you look, a dinosaur skeleton floats past the door way. Yes, a revolving dinosaur skeleton. So I rush past the creations on the walls and fall to a fullstop in the room with the moving dinosaurs. On the wall is a picture of a stately, royal figure, and pitchforks are plunged into the plaster, all around. The old days pre-revolution, the power of the peasantry, all so strongly denoted.
I am so glad to see this exhibit in full working order (Braco Dimitrijevic). I would commend this museum/artgallery to all who are near to Poitiers/Loire Valley. To me it is the spirit of Charlie Hebdo in that is celebrates diversity, challenges assumptions.
However, take a flask and a picnic as the local refreshment scene is not strong!