livre/louvre

Incongruous! Disrespectful! Kitsch! When Jeff Koons decided to hang a giant red lobster from a ceiling in the Château de Versailles it wasn’t a universal hit. But at least it took the palace to a darker, grittier place. Unlike Livre/Louvre.  Displayed in the Sully Wing of the Louvre until 25 June, this contemporary art installation by writer Jean-Philippe Toussaint is prudishly shielded from the world’s most famous fine arts museum by a series of giant partitions. Not because there’s anything to hide. But because it has very little to do with the Louvre itself. Toussaint tackles the exhibition’s theme – “conveying books without using writing” – with a display of square “cut-outs” of books from famous paintings. Arranged into a sort of mosaic on the wall, it feels like a backdrop to a late-night book show, as does the darkened tunnel lit by the word “book” in neon in several languages. Neither give the brain much of a workout. The exhibition’s central work, a photo portrait of a group of contemporary writers “freely inspired” by Fantin-Latour’s 1864 portrait L’hommage à Delaxcroix featuring Baudelaire and Manet is stiff and awkward. Not to say arrogant. The exhibition does, however, have a “wow factor”: the original manuscripts of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Dante’s Divine Comedy sitting uneasily side by side.

Advertisements
Standard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s