« Voix baudelairiennes »
As part of its digital program – Une œuvre, un regard, Jean-Philippe Delhomme's Instagram residence, Une semaine à Orsay, ORSAY Live, The digital worlds of Orsay – and in celebration of the two-hundredth anniversary of Charles Baudelaire’s birth on April 9, 2021, the Musée d'Orsay is announcing a new program on its digital platforms: Baudelairian Voices.
Each week for one year, starting April 9, 2021, a figure from contemporary art and thought –a philosopher, artist, actor, actress, filmmaker, model, poet, writer, or musician – will read an excerpt from Baudelaire of their own choice, in the language of their own choice. The first lineup of participants includes Abd Al Malik, Etel Adnan, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Rachida Brakni, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Patrick Chamoiseau, Rana Dasgupta, Simone Fattal, Jeff Koons, Michèle Lamy, and Elizabeth Peyton. These videos are free-form, and each one is made by each reader, who is free to create the effects he or she wishes. For the first time, the Musée d'Orsay's digital platforms are thus open to the diverse contributions by artists from all over the world who pay tribute to the poet and make his text heard in their own language.
Charles Baudelaire transformed French poetry and the conception of art: his evocation of the birth of photography, in particular, was seminal. In some respects, he embodies the nineteenth century presented at the Musée d'Orsay: bringing Creolity into poetry, passionate about a non-orientalist Orient, concerned with a classicism that was receding, and opening up to a modernity that both frightened and attracted him.
Present in the museum's collections, from painting to photography, he demonstrates the tensions of the period covered by the Musée d’Orsay, characterized by a concern to "paint modern life," and at the same time to deal with a present put in crisis by the advent of photography. This great French poet - a "critical contemporary", close friend of Manet, champion of Wagner, and founder of an entire branch of modern poetry - still has a considerable impact on contemporary art throughout the world.
It seemed natural to the Musée d'Orsay to celebrate him through a multiple program, interweaving the different aspects of the museum's life, and beginning, in the current period, with the digital. The Baudelairian Voices naturally open the Année Baudelaire program, which will be revealed after the museum reopens.
Baudelairian Voices is a program conceived by Donatien Grau, advisor to the Presidency for Contemporary Programs, and manager at the museum for the Année Baudelaire.
Kwame Anthony Appiah
Abd Al Malik