New Exhibit at Louvre Shows Truths of Politics and Society

STORY BY Candace Bryan

Published: May 9, 2013

It’s rare that a classic museum as well-established as the Louvre lets itself act as a canvas for modern art. But that’s exactly what is happening currently at the Parisian museum. In a story much less depressing than our last piece covering the museum, the Louvre recently unveiled an installation by renowned conceptual artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, "Year 1, Heaven on Earth," which includes the first decoration ever allowed on the iconic glass pyramid.
The embellishment on the pyramid is just one of many of the artist’s pieces on display, all meant to send messages about politics and the state of society. The reflective symbol on the pyramid is meant to tell politicians and society as a whole to look at themselves and to accept the blame for the horrible state of the world’s finances. Pistoletto believes (rightly) that many of the world’s problems can be attributed to the selfishness and greed of world leaders. He emphasizes, "Politicians should look at themselves in the mirror, and learn to take responsibility for this terrible mess and think of the infinite future ahead for humanity.” Also, he highlights the excesses of the world by minimalistically using poor products to create his art.
The rest of Pistoletto’s exhibit is subtle and scattered about the Louvre. One piece can be found near the Mona Lisa and is made of mirror and an image of a tourist taking a photograph. Like all of Pistoletto’s work, it has it’s own message: the artist says that piece in particular invokes viewers not merely to see the world through the lens of a camera, but actually to look at the world and the art in the museum. He believes that documenting that you saw a famous painting should not be more important than experiencing the art.
Another piece of Pistoletto’s exhibit involves a marble statue of Venus being overwhelmed by some used rags. Obviously, this symbolizes our cluttered world and the litter overwhelming nature.
The entire exhibit is interesting, if not pretentious. And while my gut tells me the theme is a little over the top, it’s refreshing to have an artist openly condemning world leaders and asking society for something different and something better. It’s also comforting that Pistoletto admits he’s not trying to take it all too seriously. In addition to asking his audience to reflect on modern life, he is, in his own words, “also poking fun.”
If you’re fortunate enough to have plans involving Paris this summer, be sure to keep n eye out for Pistoletto’s work. It will be on display until September 2.
Via Yahoo News
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