From Rouen to Clermond-Ferrand, the “Arts of Islam” exhibitions are designed for discussion. | Local Business News

From Rouen to Clermond-Ferrand, the “Arts of Islam” exhibitions are designed for discussion.
| Local Business News | Local News

The hypnotic melody of a flute draws the visitor into a dark and narrow room. On a deep blue wall parade images of oversized and majestic mosques mixed with those of temples decorated with emeralds. A Crossing – this is the title of the film – an invitation. Four minutes without speech, produced by the production company Mardi8, to welcome the audience of “Islamic Arts, a past for a present” at the Museum of Ceramics in Rouen (Seine-Maritime). The Norman city is one of the eighteen selected across France for this major project which runs until March 27, 2022.

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The challenge ? Take a new look, far from controversy, on the arts and cultures of Islam, and show the richness of this civilization. “We chose to exhibit in eighteen cities because we needed sufficient strike force to reach as many people as possible, especially the younger generations”, explains Yannick Lintz, director of the Islamic arts department at the Louvre and general curator of exhibitions. The project claims its strong local roots. “We were able to work in the field with actors that we were not used to working with on a regular basis, such as the Union of Muslims in Rouen”, insists Sylvain Amic, director of the Meeting of Metropolitan Museums Rouen Normandy. The choice of pieces and the involvement of educational players have been refined with them.

An opening into the world

Subdued light, refined scenography, the ten works exhibited at the Ceramics Museum are soberly revealed behind the windows. A large sofa faces out, invites you to take the time to look. This device, as well as the introductory film, is with a few variations the same throughout France. Only the pieces presented change. In Rouen, visitors can admire a manuscript of the XVIe century with a circular map with Mecca at its center – “A vision of the world seen by the Arabs in the manner of Thomas Pesquet”, has fun Yannick Lintz -, or a ceramic panel from Iran (late 17the– early XVIIe), representing a flute player. “This is another face of Islamic art that we want to unveil. He is not only religious, as we tend to believe. He can also be profane ”, details Marie-Lise Lahaye, curator of decorative arts at the Rouen Ceramics Museum.

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Cartels, including photos and maps, accompany the works with a claimed educational desire. “The texts are short, the words simple to be accessible to all visitors, whatever their age and cultural background”, underlines Yannick Lintz. The exhibitions are used as a support for lectures for the general public and for training courses for teachers to help them talk about Islamic arts with students. “In Rouen, the terrorist attacks Charlie weekly were a moment of tension and incomprehension in schools. The teachers were helpless in the face of the reactions of some of their students ”, explains Laurence Renou, vice-president of the Rouen-Normandy metropolis. “The exhibition is an opening onto a world that is not very well known to students, nor to adults. Teachers will be able to update their knowledge and disseminate it better “, details Agnès Barbier, academic delegate for cultural action in Clermont-Ferrand, another partner city of the “Islamic Arts” exhibitions.

In Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines), it is the Hôtel-Dieu Museum, a stone’s throw from the imposing collegiate church, which hosts the exhibition. There too, the same ambition of dialogue and transmission. “It is a very beautiful symbol that this project is in Mantes, where there is a strong Muslim community”, recognizes Raphaël Cognet, mayor of the city (LR). Among the works exhibited, a “Turkish” helmet dating from the end of the 16th century.e century or the Portrait of Hasan Beg Torkaman, a representation on paper of a whirling dervish and his dog dating from the 17th centurye century in Iran. Untransportable and today kept in the Louvre Museum, the famous Mantis rugs, Safavid work that decorated the Notre-Dame collegiate church is the subject of an immersive film. ” This Islamic art is not going to be understood with ten works, let’s not be naive, the mayor continues. But if 10% of people come out saying they want to discover more, we will not have wasted our time. ” This is the whole point of this artistic, historical and political proposal where works of art can serve as a basis for a peaceful discussion, far from received ideas.

Read also “Arts of Islam”, masterpieces to link

This article was written as part of a partnership with the Louvre Museum and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux

From Rouen to Clermond-Ferrand, the “Arts of Islam” exhibitions are designed for discussion.
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Remon Buul

Chairman of the board of directors responsible for organizing and developing the general policy of the website and the electronic newspaper, he is interested in public affairs and in monitoring the latest international developments.

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