from June 14 to October 31 2021
La valise d'Orphée
Curator of the exhibition : Joanna Chevalier
For its reopening, the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature invites Damien Deroubaix, an emblematic artist of the contemporary French scene, for a temporary exhibition: La Valise dʼOrphée.
Carried away into a world of magic and sacredness, the visitor finds himself immersed in a primitive cave made by the artist, where three hundred zoomorphic figurines modeled in different materials (bronze, ceramic...) and often thousands of years old are lined up. Collected around the Mediterranean basin and collected by Naji Asfar, this Lilliputian ensemble fits in the volume of a suitcase.
During antiquity, these small statuettes were used for their supposed prophylactic power. Revered, feared, and sometimes domesticated, the animal was then part of everyday human life and carried a strong symbolic charge. This collection bears witness to vanished cultures and religions where the animal held a place quite different from that reserved for it by our civilization.
For this bygone world, Damien Deroubaix invests the entire exhibition room by creating a cave adorned with a series of paintings, woodcuts and sculptures, as if to protect these fragile treasures with meanings often shrouded in mystery. By denouncing the cruelty of humans who threaten animal and plant life and the survival of our planet, Damien Deroubaix catapults these millennia-old objects into a current questioning where man and nature interact.
In the museum courtyard, the visitor is greeted by the giant bronze reproduction of the Venus of Hohle Fels, taking the place of Orpheus, who in mythology has the power to charm wild beasts. The artist draws her inspiration from prehistory to resurrect this mother goddess, a symbol of fertility and protection, which provides a note of hope, an opening towards a form of awakening and harmonization.
In this way, La Valise dʼOrphée addresses all kinds of audiences, with Damien Deroubaixʼs expressionism opening up new perspectives of interpretation to the ancient collection.