Culture is future » Innovation and digital

05.14.2012

Article - Slow down, you are at the museum

Prior to invade the world of culture, the Slow movement came from the world of agriculture. In Rome, in the late 1980s, a demonstration led by journalist Carlo Petrini opposes the opening of a Fast Food restaurant in Piazza di Spagna. What first appeared to be just an isolated event took an unexpected turn with the creation of Slow Food, an international association to promote diversity in food and ecograstronomy.

Since then, the Slow movement has exceeded the boundaries of culinary field. It has seen groundbreacking variations, heading to urbanism, fashion, science, design, tourism ... It has generated a genuine creativity around the idea of ​​slowing down. A special network Cittaslow has even been created to bring together municipalities from around the world wishing to embark on common values: restore a better rhythm of life, more balanced and respectful of citizens' health. Initially, the  main idea is quite simple: the world is going faster everyday. Technological and social changes, the speed has gripped the lifestyles, tearing everything in its path that takes a bit (too) long.

What about art? The museum is, by nature, a place of slowdown. The artwork requires its own temporality. But it is not always easy for a cultural institution to offer the visitor the time required to collect and isolate what makes sense in an exhibition.

The possibility of a truce. This is exactly the purpose of the project being conducted at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris by Carmen Bouyer, a student at the French Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. Un Instant mon petit is a terrace where people can order  drinks, located in the heart of the new spaces of the Palais de Tokyo. Fruit and vegetables supplied by local producers are distributed in a setting where the use of recycled materials can extend the life of things. It does not create a new restaurant area in the museum, but provides the necessary time, in full visit, for a rebuild.

This project combines environmental vision and a Slow aesthetic. It is not without a certain poetry, while the staging evokes the tranquility of The Gleaners by Millet or Van Gogh's The meridian.

Arranged between archaism and wood found on the construction site of the new Palais de Tokyo, solids and letters by hand, frame shop and flavor of fresh food from the garden of the Ile de France area, Un Instant mon petit is built as a boat to take off.
Expression of a joyous activism around natural know-how, appetizers, words and practices shared between farmers and urban artists, Un Instant mon petit is inspired by community gardens, promoting economy of means and collective work. It just confronts those values with art and design processes to create autonomous and hand-made works and make this place available to the wildest imaginations that tell environment-friendly stories. It overlooks the exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo and thus allows the visitor to settle for a moment, unhurried by the succession of rooms.

How to give the visitor more time for the reception of artworks? Unlike some wrong ideas of the Slow movement, new technologies do not always produce acceleration. Online museums for example, are the promise of a visit without any time constraint. The Google Art Project, with its 30,000 artworks online, allow us to no longer visit museums as fast-art consumers and erect a new ritual of viewing works where time suspends his last flight.

A contribution of Paul Rhoné, in the framework of the partership with Sciences Po

Credits: poster of "Un Instant mon petit"