Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Choc full of surprises

By now you must have seen the chocolate ad on TV where the visitors to the “Louvre” get to eat the arms of the Venus de Milo. The Venus de Milo is quite closely modelled on the real thing as is, bar the poppy eyes, the Mona Lisa. Next to the “Mona Lisa” are a couple of more contemporary paintings, something you are unlikely to come across in the Mona Lisa Gallery, as you would have noted in the pic posted here last week of people photographing the armour glass covered painting. Having said that, the combination of recent works with early ones, is not unheard of at the Musée du Louvre. In 1947 Picasso was asked to exhibit his work in the Grande Galerie and Braque did that ceiling painting everyone always talks about. More recently people like Jacques Derrida, Peter Greenaway and Julia Kristeva were invited to curate exhibitions in the famous museum. Then there was a series of shows curated by Régis Michel, Conservateur en chef at the Musée du Louvre, including the exhibition La Peinture comme Crime (Painting as Crime) in 2001. The title was taken from a manifesto proposed by the Actionist Schwarzkogler who died leaping from a window in emulation of Yves Klein's Leap into the Void. Even more to the point, the Louvre’s own website says, “Exhibits interspersed with contemporary artworks aim to stimulate fresh approaches to the Louvre's hallowed heritage collection.” Maybe those chocolate guys are more with the programme than we thought.