© Cyril Zannettacci/Musée du Quai Branly. Artwork by Aboriginal artist Lena Nyadbi on the roof of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. 

An artwork by an Aborignal artist Lena Nyadbi has been painted across the roof terrace of a museum in Paris, designed to be viewed from the Eiffel Tower. The Musée du quai Branly, a fairly new gallery dedicated to indigenous and ancient cultural artworks, took a very deliberate approach to the incorporation of Australian Aboriginal art into their gallery. In a stroke of genius, they created a work that can not even be viewed from within the gallery. It is truly unique, an artwork inspired by the landscape of outback Australia is now embedded into the urban fabric of Paris. Looking forward to seeing more pictures!

working titles for this thesis
  • Racist Shitshow or Anesthetizing Snoozefest? The MQB/NMAI Debate
  • Are You Shitting Me: The True Story of How We’re Really Going to Respect the Consciousness of Rocks in the Same Place we Gloss Over a History of Imperial Brutalities against PEOPLE, Among Other Things
  • I Am An Atheist and Museums are Stupid
  • But… The Architecture! 
  • A Case Study: That One Museum with the Abrasive Sense of French Cultural Superiority and That Other One, You Know, with the Great Cafe


Le musee du quai Branly was free last weekend for it’s 5 year anniversary, so we went to check it out. I’m not hugely interested in archaeological museums, but I did want to see Jean Nouvel’s architecture. And if you like archaeological artefacts, like African and Asian art, it’s very well done, with wonderful exhibition spaces and displays.

I really liked The River installation, a river of words flowing along the ramp leading to the permanent collection.

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After touring around the museum, we listened to some great jazz music in the garden’s amphitheatre.

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And finally a look at the museum’s very cool living wall:

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Présence africaine @ Musée du quai branly | Paris, 2009

“In organizing the two congresses, Présence Africaine offered a forum to intellectuals and to writers of the black diaspora. By initiating and participating actively in the organization of the First World Festival of Negro Arts (Dakar, 1966), Présence Africaine continued its work to highlight the wealth and the diversity of artistic practices of Africans but also of the diaspora.

This festival is the first large cultural event organized in Africa by a young independent African state. This event was also a strong political stake for Léopold Lédar Senghor, president of the young republic of Senegal.

Three large groups are distinguished in this section :

  • Organization in Dakar of the First World Festival of Negro Arts (April, 1966)
  • The multiple events during the festival
  • Exhibition on  “negro art”: from Dakar (April, 1966) to Paris (Grand Palais, June, 1966)

In this section, in addition to the posters and programs of the period, are presented a part of the objects exhibited in Dakar during the 1966 exhibition. A video installation additionally provides a sense of the wealth of the living arts during the festival.”


"L'Atlantique Noir" de Nancy Cunard jusqu'au 18 mai au Quai Branly

« Il y a quatre-vingts ans, le 15 février 1934, l’anglaise Nancy Cunard (1896-1965), symbole de l’avant-garde anglo-saxonne et française du début du vingtième siècle, édite Negro Anthology. Très illustré, ce livre de huit-cent-cinquante-cinq pages, semblable à une grande enquête documentaire, mêle culture populaire, sociologie, politique, histoire, histoire de l’art, rassemble des articles, des archives, des photographies, des extraits de presse, des partitions musicales, des témoignages…

Les contributeurs sont militants, journalistes, artistes, universitaires, africains-américains, antillais, africains, latino-américains, américains, européens, femmes et hommes. Certains d’entre eux sont colonisés, discriminés, ségrégés. Cette anthologie est à la fois une histoire des Amériques noires et de l’Afrique dans le temps mais aussi une histoire politique et culturelle de son temps. Elle révèle également le caractère transnational et multiforme des combats antiracistes et anticolonialistes des années trente, et illustre la formation internationale et transculturelle que Paul Gilroy appelle « l’Atlantique noir ». Negro Anthology fait ainsi voyager le lecteur entre les Amériques noires, l’Afrique et l’Europe.

Poète, modèle, éditrice, collectionneuse, militante, journaliste, anticonformiste, Nancy Cunard symbolise une période où l’avant-garde artistique et littéraire s’imbriquait avec le monde politique. C’est à travers la visite des grands thèmes abordés dans Negro Anthology que nous montrerons les réseaux artistiques, littéraires et politiques transnationaux tissés par Nancy Cunard dans les années 1910-1930, qui ont fait de cette anthologie un monument de l’histoire des Noirs. » —Sarah Frioux-Salgas.

Jusqu'au 18 mai 2014

Musée du Quai Branly

37, quai Branly

75007 Paris

Métro Bir-Hakheim