An exhibition where you can converse with funny birds …
Season 1 from September 19, 2020 (see fall schedule below).
Season 2 from May 19, 2021
Presentation of the exhibition
Rather than trying to answer the question asked by Bashung (What’s in a Bird?), It might be better to ask ourselves from what the birds are named … despite the silence to which they are kept in the closed doors of the Gassendi Museum’s collections, What do they tell us about the territory on which they fluttered before they were being stuffed? Why show them in the spotlight and devote them so much attention? taking them from the stocks in which they have been sleeping for decades?
What’s in a Bird…?
The Gassendi Museum own 1,200 bird specimens. It is the beggining of this exhibition which thereby rehabilitates its condition as a natural history museum. It may seem paradoxical today to exhibit such a collection of stuffed animals like trophies. Our relationship with the birds, and more broadly to all other animals, has greatly evolved. During the COVID confinement their presence in the neighborhood became more concrete, more necessary because they emitted the sounds of a freedom we didn’t have anymore. Yet it is also possible to see these collections as a celebrations of wild life and to see collectors as bird lovers.
Paleontology, anatomy, taxidermy, biology, are invited to illustrate the state of our knowledge of avifauna, the artistic creation and the whole – popular culture which is nourished by it too.
The thread (on the leg …) of the tour will allow you to look at other works from the Digne collection which include birds with a hawk’s eye. The exhibition will be punctuated – if conditions allow you – by conferences to which scientists, philosophers, directors and artists will be invited.
The exhibition was designed primarily from the collections of the Gassendi Museum: naturalized specimens, paintings and contemporary works taken out of storage.
With contemporary artworks by:
Sylvie Bussière, John Bevis, Régine Chopinot, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, Jan Dibbets, Mark Dion, Joan Fontcuberta, Bertrand Gadenne, Andy Goldsworthy, Jean-Luc Mylaine, Bernard Plossu, Abraham Poincheval, Ted Purves, herman de vries, Knud Viktor, Hans Waanders.
Some works were commissioned for the exhibition, others on loan from artists and institutions:
Centre nationale des arts plastiques
Centre du livre d’artiste de Saint-Yrieix
Fonds régional d’art contemporain d’Auvergne
Musée départemental des Hautes-Alpes
Musée départemental de Salagon
Musée de la Vallée – La Sapinière – Barcelonnette
Musée municipal de Forcalquier
To discover Abraham Poincheval’s installation in the landscapes showroom, you can (re) listen to the artist’s podcast.
With the help of guest artists and taxidermist ornithologists, the museum had brooded season 2 of What’s in a Bird?