Museums breaking the mold

Spain might have set the trend for employing “starchitects” to design museums with the Guggenheim’s Bilbao outpost, but it seems that Paris is breaking the mold with its innovative museum marketing:

First, the Palais de Tokyo’s exhibited a hotel room on its roof that guests could actually book for a night (click ‘here’ to read our earlier blog item about this exhibit). In June, the Louvre hosted a concert by Duran Duran, the first pop group to perform at the pyramid, a benefit for the 18th century decorative arts gallery of the museum. Versailles also made history this year with 17 Jeff Koons sculptures in the apartments and gardens, ranging from an inflatable red lobster and silver rabbit, to a hobby horse cum dinosaur covered with 100,000 flowering plants (naturally provoking consternation and protest by traditionalists).

The latest is the Louvre’s invitation to international film directors to create works using the museum’s spaces as settings for their films. The first director is Malaysian born Tsai Ming-liang whose film, “Face”, featuring Italian model and actress Laetitia Casta in the Tuileries gardens dancing with a stag, wearing provocative Christian Lacroix and singing Chinese songs. In another scene, she was waist deep in a hidden pond beneath the Louvre. Tsai roamed the spaces of the Louvre for two years prior to shooting the film, seeking out to spaces that were otherwise closed to the public. The Louvre contributed 20% to the film’s budget. Those going to the Cannes Film Festival next May will be the first to get a glimpse of “Face.”


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