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20 Feb 2015

Explorations: Voyage to the heart of the collections at Musée du château des ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard

Sarkis, Melek, 2011-2012 (detail)
Stained glass, analog proof on semi-translucent film, metal
52.4 x 77.4 cm
Musées de Montbéliard Collection
Photo Pierre Guenat

Voyage to the heart of the collections
Musée du château des ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard


Opening: 20 February 2015, 6 pm 21 February – 16 August 2015 Open daily 10 - 12 am / 2 - 6 pm Closed on Tuesday

Aurélie Voltz Director of 'Musées de Montbéliard'
+33 3 81 99 23 72

Musée du château des ducs de Wurtemberg,
25200 Montbéliard

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As part of the effort to highlight their collections and generate greater public awareness for them, the Musées de Montbéliard have brought together contemporary pieces with works that have come down to us from the past in a new display that creates a rich dialog around the theme of exploration.

A visit to the show plays out like an imaginary journey around major works, objects, and legends brought back from distant lands. The animal world, cartography, archeology, the exact sciences, and astronomy provide illustrations of the multiple paths taken by artists in search of new cultural, visual and geographic territories. Paintings, prints, videos, objects, and installations represent a range of ways for questioning the world.

The notion of exploration, in both its scientific aspect of discovery and the sense of escape and dream, remains closely linked with tales and eyewitness accounts of voyages. Some thirty pieces carry visitors off to the Russian steppe, Wales, the city of Cairo, even the far-off shores of Chile. Bikes adorned with maps invite us to take a trip, starting at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and ending right at the pinnacle of the château's own Frédéric Tower. And while on route it is all too possible to run into flamboyant salamanders, strange harpies, and other winged characters.

At the entrance, Melek, depicting an angel on a stained-glass window created by Sarkis is displayed near a wing fashioned from a cuprous alloy and discovered in an archeological dig; the duo announces the exhibition to come, one that indeed favors associations. This recent Sarkis acquisition, other contemporary works, and pieces from generous donors to the museum are exhibited alongside objects drawn from the collections—all departments taken together. The layout of the show sidesteps the question of different centuries and disciplines to make way for a universal vision.

With works by Gianfranco Baruchello, Philippe Favier, Alain Jacquet, Hassan Khan, Najia Mehadji, Jorge Peris, Sarkis, Ariel Schlesinger, Ivan Seal, Gernot Wieland, Christian Zeimert…

Curator: Aurélie Voltz, director of the Musées de Montbéliard