News/Jun 18, 2013
Cirque Éloize’s Jeannot Painchaud signs the artistic direction of Paris on Stage.
One of the major exhibitions, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Quebec City’s Musée de la civilization, Paris on Stage. 1889-1914 explores the effervescence of the City of Lights during la Belle Époque. Visitors will discover the iconic people, events, and places that epitomized that remarkable era. Just imagine… the city of boulevards, Les Halles, the circus, cinema, theater, salons d’artistes, gardens, and world fair… le Chat noir, the Moulin rouge, the Lumière brothers, Sarah Bernhardt, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Rodin… Jeannot Painchaud’s Cirque Éloize signs the artistic direction of the exhibition, which will be presented from June 19, 2013 to February 23, 2014.
For Jeannot Painchaud, Cirque Éloize’s President and Artistic Director, this exhibition is in line with the company’s artistic approach. For the past 20 years, Cirque Éloize has expressed its innovative nature through movement and theatricality. “I imagined the exhibition’s itinerary as a show, with the intention of a strong entrance, where the visitor is propelled in the heart of Les Halles, followed by a series of pauses and strong moments. The exhibition was designed as an invitation to dream; visitors will sometimes be wanderers, strollers, catching a glimpse of an era that is not their own, an effervescent period that forged the entertainment society in which we live nowadays”. Back in 2011, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts had offered Jeannot Painchaud a “carte blanche” in contemporary creativity by entrusting him with the creation of an installation around one of Riopelle’s paintings.
This exhibition is also an invitation to discover how Paris became one of the European cultural capitals of the days. “At the time, Paris was marked by an acceleration in a variety of fields: including major works by Haussmann, the advent of electricity, a transport revolution, the dawn of cinema, the frivolity of cafés-concerts, music-halls and carnivals, the popularity of theater, the great masters evolving in the salon d’artistes, and let’s not forget the effervescence of the world fair. At Paris on Stage. 1889-1914, visitors will discover the golden days of Paris, through its iconic events, people and places”, added Jeannot Painchaud.
Paris on Stage is an immersive exhibition plunging visitors into the bustle, effervescence, and energy of Belle Époque Paris. Staged by Atelier in situ, it conjures up the Paris of our dreams, it uses space, sound, and light to involve virtually all the senses. Equipped with audioguides, visitors enter the skin of a Belle Époque Parisian, marveling at the novelty and creativity, and delighted by the many expressions of popular culture and new leisure opportunities. Along the way, they’ll hear a chanson from a café or sidewalk orchestra, breathe in the fresh air of Bois de Boulogne, marvel at the view through a peephole, experience the moving sidewalk from the 1900 Universal Exhibition, or soak up the view from the Eiffel Tower’s first level.
Paris on Stage.1889–1914 also showcases outstanding artistic, technical, and historical pieces from the collections of leading Paris museums. In all, close to 250 artifacts and works of art attesting to the creativity of the period are on display, including paintings by Jean Béraud, Abel Truchet, posters—some extremely rare—by Toulouse- Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, items that belonged to the divine Sarah Bernhardt, theater costumes, photos, period film clips, automata, and objects illustrating technical advances, such as a “voiturette” from the first series of automobiles made by the Renault brothers, a model of a tramway, bicycles, a cinematograph, a telegraph, … One of the star attractions will be Léon Lhermitte’s Les Halles, a monumental painting that has been restored especially for the exhibition. The painting has been kept in a vault and will be shown for the first time since 1930, before it is scheduled to return to the Petit Palais in Paris.
As a complement to the Paris on Stage exhibition, the Museum will treat visitors to guided tours, including an iPod tour for children, as well as a wide variety of cultural activities such as the captivating “Paris découvertes” series of talks. The Museum, in collaboration with Beaux Arts magazine, has published a magazine featuring contributions by numerous well-known experts. It is being distributed nationally and internationally, in both French and English.
EXPOSITION PARIS EN SCÈNE. 1889-1914
A Musée de la civilisation production under the artistic direction of Cirque Éloize’s Jeannot Painchaud, with the generous support of the City of Paris Museums and the collaboration of Secrétariat à la Capitale-Nationale, Tourisme Québec, Québec City Tourism, Château Laurier (official hotel), the Le Soleil daily newspaper, and Radio- Canada. With the special contribution of the major exhibition patronage fund established by the Québec City Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Companies contributing to this fund include Auberge Saint-Antoine, the Château Laurier hotel, Les Tours du Vieux- Québec, Pain Béni restaurant, and the Québec City Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Alcoa is a partner in all Musée de la civilisation programming. Visit www.mcq.org/paris for details.