The Musée d’Art Moderne stages Medusa, an exhibition designed to unmask taboos and to reveal the subversive messages lurking in a piece of jewellery.
Tuesday - Sunday 10am-6pm with extended visiting hours on Thursday until 10pm. Closed Mondays.
Attractive or repelling, beautiful or provocative? Like Medusa, the golden-haired maiden who was transformed into a hideous woman with snakes coiling in her hair after breaking her vows of celibacy with Poseidon, the Medusa exhibition in Paris explores the role of jewellery in a contemporary light and sets about unmasking a number of prevailing prejudices and taboos.
One of the most ancient and universal forms of human decoration, jewellery has an ambiguous status, hovering in limbo between fashion, sculpture and, occasionall,y art. Medusa sets out to question the traditional boundaries by reconsidering the issues of craftsmanship, decoration, fashion and pop culture.
Organised around four themes – Identity, Value, Body and Instruments – each section opens with the often negative preconceptions surrounding jewellery to deconstruct them and reveal the underlying symbolism and theatrical potential of this art form. Thanks to surrealist and avant-garde artists of the stature of Salvador Dali and the provocative art of contemporary designers, jewellery has been reinvented, transformed and detached from its own constricting traditions.
Bringing together over 400 pieces of jewellery, the Medusa exhibition is ambitious in scope and showcases pre-historical works; punk and rapper’s jewellery; creations by artists like Alexander Calder, Man Ray and Lucio Fontana; pieces by designers René Lalique and Suzanne Belperron; contemporary jewellery by Gijs Bakker, Otto Künzli, Dorothea Prühl, to name but a few; and high jewellery creations by Carter, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Admission: €10; reduced price €7.
Vivienne Westwood’s regal plastic crown with gold-plated metal, velvet and fake crystals diamonds; Salvador Dali’s Ruby Lips brooch with cultured pearl teeth and ruby lips; and the imposing sculptural brass wire necklace by Alexander Calder known as The Jealous Husband.