The works exhibited in the entrance lobby question the museum and the exhibition.
Mark Dion, Collection Index Digne, 2004, mixed techniques
Mark Dion’s work refers explicitly to cabinets of curiosities and takes inspiration from the history of museums, which are places for miniaturised representation of the world. In the reserve collections of the museums that invite him, the artist gathers ordinary objects and specimens from the living world, to organise them while highlighting the classification process which is one of the paradigms of museums. The accumulation of natural history specimens alerts us to the harmful role of collecting from the natural world. Thus Mark Dion takes a different angle on the methods and conventions of natural sciences in order to denounce the ideology that underlies them.
Paul-Armand Gette’s work
Paul-Armand Gette, Du divers au particulier, 2005, photographs and showcase-sculpture Acquisition in 2005, with the support of FRAM (the Regional Acquisition Fund for Museums)
It is not nature that is central to Paul-Armand Gette’s work, but natural history, or, in other words, nature seen through the prism of culture. Applying his immense learning, he reveals to us the poetry of scientific language and the exhibition. In this showcase, which functions like a sculpture, is exhibited a “ghost” of crystal, and the accompanying photograph shows a charming ghost which sticks out its tongue through a “flexible crystal” at the bottom of the showcase. Mythology is also present, with the butterfly that is so beautifully named Apollon du Parnasse (Parnassius Apollo).