from March 13 to September 2 2018
The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature wishes to give a literary echo to the works of art it exhibits. It has asked Anne Simon, a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, philosopher and specialist in animality in literature, to punctuate the tour with quotations referring to the themes addressed by the artists. At the rate of two exhibitions per year, "Spring Leaves" and "Autumn Leaves" present the works that she has selected and which are as many incentives to continue the discovery of the museum by reading.
(Automatically translated with Google Translate)
"Noon, raw hour, full fire on the mountain: the morning was good, the blood of the beasts flowed freely, the massacre is the name of happiness. Actaeon the hunter would have even defied Artemis the goddess. It is the hour of the rest and the raving. The ovidian landscape darkens: the young man descends from its heights, passes the forbidden threshold and penetrates the wild but regulated space of the forest. He left men and dogs, here he is in front of the immense and naked goddess. Face against face, glance against glance : does Actéon ignore that no one can throw the eyes on the sacred, the unconscious, the desire, his double, without veil and without screen ? Artemis has kept two weapons: the feminine water and the art of the word.
Of the human, Actéon loses the face, the form, the reason, the language. Irony of the goddess of the nocturnal powers: talkative man, bare me if you can! The proud or imprudent man has now the appearance - the body and the rhythm - of a part of him which he had not ceased to annihilate: the trembling of the life, the panic of the flight. The woman-race (according to the Indo-European art), the man-herd raised by the man-horse (Chiron), the dog-men with grandiose names, are so many hybrids to be considered as masks of the sacred or figures of oneself. Here they are intermingling their races, their howls, their moods: source, blood, sweat, tears, ink.
Emblem of excess, transgression or suffering flesh, the hunted hunter and the pierced stag will haunt the artists. The antlers whose regeneration fascinated the pagans were transformed in the Middle Ages: the stag crowned with the Cross ordered Hubert to do penance to become the patron saint of hunting. The Renaissance will see in Diana, this Artemis of the Court, the Woman who shoots the deadly arrows of Eros. Our modernity will make of the one who is lacerated by mules and henchmen a figure of the man torn by History, of Diana a France and an eternal song: language has been taken away from Actaeon to be given back to poets and readers, in the poignant inter-say of resistance and compassion.
Gérard Garouste, Laurie Karp: radically different manners and materials, both nevertheless fascinated by the troublesome hybridizations, the feasts where species devour each other, the cruel embraces in the heart of a forest where our dreams, our myths and our history are unraveling."
Director of research at the CNRS