Paris, France —A colorful and highly spiritual exhibition is being played out in the French capital in the city’s Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. Spectacular paintings and objects have travelled from the Aboriginal lands of Australia to land into town providing a glimpse into a little known culture. The exhibition Songlines, Tracking the Seven Sisters, offers a journey into the heart of the Aboriginal world. Produced by the National Museum of Australia, crowned the best exhibition of the year in Australia in 2018, the show brings to France one of Australia’s most popular legendary stories. The Aboriginal people of Australia, like many indigenous people of the world, have passed on the memory of their people through oral history, paintings, ceremonies and song. Songlines or song tracks, which guide the steps of the Aborigines across the land and throughout their lives are handed down from generation to generation. The exhibition was conceived by representatives of the Western Desert lands of Australia, the Martu, the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) and the NPY.
The show brings together some 200 pieces created by more than 100 artists and offers a journey into an Aboriginal perception of the world through the story of seven sisters pursued by a powerful sorcerer on earth and in the sky. The sisters encounter the sorcerer or shape-shifter, known as Wati Nyiru in landscapes, underground water reserves and in the night sky notably through the constellation Orion and the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades. The Pleiades were also the seven sister nymphs and companions of the goddess of the hunt Artemis. Traditional objects are also on view.
The exhibition is complemented by some 20 installation works including audio-visual installations, filmed ceremonial performances and sound narratives. Through these immersive installations, the Elders, the custodians of the culture, welcome and guide — virtually — the visitor through the exhibition and subsequently their world. The exhibition will also serve to conserve this culture, its traditions and its spirituality for the future.
The Australian embassy in France is also presenting an exhibition on Songlines running along with the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac and that is open to the public from Mondays to Fridays, from 9am until 5 pm at the embassy, 4 rue Jean Rey, 75015. A rich performance program is on the agenda as well with a musical and video creation by Luke Styles and the Ensemble Le Balcon in the museum’s Claude Lévi-Strauss theatre on April 15th and 16th, with reservations required. Custodians of the Sky is a contemporary Australian creation being performed for the first time bringing together poetry, music, dance and astronomy. This dream-like show revolves around the constellations that are visible in Australia and is an invitation to explore our universe. The composer Luke Styles has created a vocal, electronic and instrumental work and the concert will bring together the tenor Michael Smallwood and the barytone Damien Pass along with the 20 musicians of the Balcon orchestra under the direction of Alphonse Cemin. And on June 9th, 10th and 11th the contemporary dance company Marrugeku will perform Gudirr, Guddir, the song of the bird. The Songlines exhibition is running until July 2nd. 37 Quai Jacques Chirac, 75007 Paris, France. Telephone: + 33 (0)1 56 61 70 00. https://www.quaibranly.fr/en/ ©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
Categories: Gourmet Fair
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