A real-life Museum of Hoaxes

The Irish Times describes a real-life Museum of Hoaxes -- the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris:

As chief curator Claude d'Anthenaise explains, it's an experimental museum that likes to baffle the visitor. "I wanted to create a museum where the visitor would feel constantly disconcerted and lose his bearings – just like someone walking in nature," he says. "In a wild setting, you're confronted with all sorts of things you don't understand. You're not on your own territory."

So "totally insignificant, even repulsive" objects have been deliberately placed alongside art of the highest quality. Visitors often have to search out explanations for displays. There are hoaxes, traps and false leads. For example, a fake appeau – a device used to imitate the sounds of animals – is presented in what looks like a serious, scientific collection.

"In the hunting trophy collection, there's an animal that is actually an artistic creation. It's like a wild boar's head, which is completely imagined but plausible, all white, and it follows the visitors with its eyes. We can even make it talk as they pass. Sometimes the security guard will turn it on.

"Suddenly the visitor is confronted by this animal which is not fully dead. It invites him to challenge the entirety of the collection. He says to himself, 'if this is an invention, maybe other things are too'. So he observes them differently.

It sounds a lot like the Museum of Jurassic Technology in LA.

Education Miscellaneous

Posted on Wed Jan 18, 2012



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