If there is an exhibition that should not be missed in Paris these days, it has to be the one currently hosted by the national gallery of the Jeu de Paume (until September 21st). Entitled « Protographies », it unaffectedly broadcasts a very interesting selection of Oscar Muňoz's pieces, thus retracing forty years of a fruitful career. Unclassifiable as well as fascinating, the famous colombian artist has experimented with art forms as varied as sculpture, video, drawing, painting and installation. The « Protographies » exhibition is a plural journey through time, with a hint of nostalgia.
With his surprising inventiveness, Oscar Muňoz seems to never be out of ideas when it comes to stage onto his work his obsession with the connection between image and memory. This interrogation is truly the thread upon which he has woven the whole of his work. Fascinated by photography and the way it gives immortality to events and people that are ephemeral per se, the artist constantly questions the ability of image to withold memory. What becomes of the latter when the first is erased ?
Oscar Muňoz's true strength is that he allows the spectator to wonder with him about time that passes and the erasable nature of memories, and along with them, the things that we remember. Without ever becoming morbid, the artist makes small bits of the present and the past appear and disappear : silhouettes long out of the shower, which casts persist on the plastic curtain, faces randomly taken out of obituaries that appear for just a second under a stranger's breath on a mirror, or that liquify and disappear in a siphon, only leaving behind a meaningless ink spot... Muňoz plays with the elements, and perhaps especially water, that soaks surfaces, leaks or evaporates while bringing along the reflection of anonymous faces, that immediately fall into oblivion.
Oscar Muňoz's work is also dwelled with Colombia's dark History, and its decades of civil war. Through his hand, the headlines of newspaper slowly disappear, and along with them, the memory of past events. « Protographies » is an intimate, fascinating and highly moving exhibition, that goes through all the themes cherished by the artist. The message that emanates from Oscar Muňoz's work is like a silent and throbbing melody. Rather than bringing lost things back to our memory, he simply manages to remind us that we forget.
How to go from Hotel du Danube ?
Take the opportunity to take a nice walk ! (walking time : approx. 25mn)
When leaving the hotel, take a left, then immediately turn left again on rue des Saints Pères. Cross the Seine by taking the Carrousel bridge (on your left) and walk to the left in the direction of place de la Concorde in the tremendous jardin des Tuileries. The Jeu de Paume is right at the end of the park, on the right.
Timetable and prices :
The museum is open on tuesdays from 11 a.m to 9 p.m and on wednesdays through sundays from 11 a.m to 7 p.m
Ticket : 10€ (reduced price : 7€50)