The Museum of Hunting and Nature wishes to give a literary echo to the works of art it exhibits. He asked Anne Simon, normalienne, philosopher, and specialist in animality in literature, to punctuate the visit route with quotes referring to the themes tackled by the artists. At the rate of two exhibitions per year, "Leaves of Spring" and "Leaves of Autumn" present the works that she has selected and which are as many incentives to continue the discovery of the museum by reading.
“Noon, crude hour, spotlight on the mountain: the morning has been good, the blood of animals has flowed, massacre is the name of happiness. Actaeon the hunter would have even challenged Artemis the goddess. It is the hour of rest and wandering. The Ovidian landscape darkens: the young man descends from his heights, crosses the forbidden threshold and enters the wild but regulated space of the forest. He has left men and dogs, here he is before the immense and naked goddess. Face against face, gaze against gaze: Does Actaeon ignore that no one can cast their eyes on the sacred, the unconscious, desire, its double, without a veil and without a screen? Artemis kept two weapons: feminine water and the art of speech.
From the human, Actaeon loses face, form, reason, language. Irony of the goddess of nocturnal powers: talkative man, bar me if you can! The proud or the reckless now has the allure - the body and the rhythm - of a part of him that he had never ceased to destroy: the tremor of life, the panic of flight . The woman-bear (according to Indo-European art), the man-stag bred by the man-horse (Chiron), the dog-men with grandiose names, are all hybrids to be considered as masks of the sacred or figures of oneself. Here they are, intertwining their races, their howls, their moods: spring, blood, sweat, tears, ink.
Emblem of excess, transgression or suffering flesh, the hunted hunter and the pierced deer will haunt the artists. The antlers whose regeneration fascinated the pagans were transformed in the Middle Ages: the deer crowned with the Cross ordered
Hubert to do penance to become the boss of the hunt. The Renaissance will see in Diana, this Court Artemis, the Woman who shoots the deadly arrows of Eros. Our modernity will make of the one who is torn apart by the mastiffs and the soldiers a figure of man torn by history, of Diane an eternal France and song: language has been taken from Actaeon to be given back to poets and readers , in the poignant prohibition of resistance and compassion.
Gérard Garouste, Laurie Karp: radically different manners and materials, both however fascinated by disturbed hybridizations, feasts where species devour each other, cruel embraces in a forest where our dreams are unraveling, our myths and our history. "
Director of research at CNRS
62, rue des Archives 75003 Paris
The museum is open every day except Monday and public holidays,
11 a.m. to 18 p.m., 11 a.m. to 21:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Full price: 8 euros
Reduced price: 6 euros