Continuing on with my photo essay on the Musee du Quai Branly, here are some photographs of the one area that’s officially open to the public at large, the bookstore. It contains a large reproduction of a painting by Mawurndjul on the ceiling as well as a pole situated in one corner of the space. The pole is a t the top of the ramp leading from the door on the rue de Universite. People who wish to visit the bookstore without first entering the Museum would come in this way. Since all the other Aboriginal works are in areas that will be accessible only to staff (although portions of them can be seen from the sidewalk outside the building), the Mawurndjul works are in some sense the most complete representations from the commission. The pole is also the only part of the commission that was actually executed by one of the artists, rather than by artisans working under the direction of curators and architects.
Looking the length of the bookstore at Mardayin at Milmilngkan.
Details of the “rarrk.”
View from the other end of the bookstore.
The pole, with a corner of the Mardayin painting (upper right).
Judy Watson’s Two Halves with Bailer Shell reproduced over the stairs at the staff entrance to the building. The very shiny surface makes it almost impossible to see in its entirety from any perspective. I can’t decide if the placement of the column is lewd, or simply unfortunate.
And finally, the Paddy Bedford,which at least on opening week is a disgrace. This appears to be some kind of a service entrance for the building, and the painting appears to be executed on the rear wall of a completely separate building. The top half of the work is sliced open by an intrusive set of French windows with a classic iron balcony across their lower half. You can see the edge of the balcony at the top middle of the photograph. The metal packing crate in the foreground should be gone soon, I hope, along with the plywood leaning against the back part of the wall. As I said in my last post, I don’t know why this work ended up here, rather than in its original location facing the street, but it’s certainly the unhappiest outcome of all so far.