Another look at the art scene in France.
The first contemporary museum located in the suburbs of Paris, “MAC/VAL” is now commemorating its 2nd anniversary.
In Japan you may imagine a quiet residential area when you hear the word “suburb.” But in France, the suburban areas are where low-income groups and immigrants move to avoid high rent in the urban districts. And lately, it has been hard to keep the peace in the suburbs outside of Paris.
The museum, which was built by Jacques Ripault, opened in November 2005 in the suburban city of Vitry. After 20 years of deliberation, the prefectural assembly chose Vitry because the location is symbolic of its cultural policy to promote contemporary arts.
After arriving at MAC/VAL by taking the metro and bus from Paris, the first sight is a gigantic sculpture by Jean Dubuffet beside the bus stop.
Located in the middle of the city of Vitry-sur-Seine, the museum is surrounded by a 10,000-square meter park planned by Gil Wechsler. The building houses more than 1000 pieces of art, from collections mainly from the 1950’s up to now.
A work by Alain Sechas. Smoke comes out every time she smokes.
The building occupies 13,000m2 of all 20,000m2, and 4,000m2 is allotted for both permanent and temporary exhibits. Furthermore, there is a 150-seat screening room for the non-figurative arts like films and music, a multimedia research room where children, adults and researchers can study on modern art and its history, as well as a museum shop, restaurant, and accommodation facilities for foreign artists.
For a museum with such modern conveniences, the distinguished artists’ works are exhibited all over rather casually.
A curious piece in a restaurant “Le Transversal“.
Meet Felis Varini right inside of the show room.
Under Alexia Fabre and Frank Lamy’s curation, the temporary exhibit has been highly praised since the opening. Also you cannot miss permanent collections, which are frequently replaced. The exhibition is far from a common clichéd chronological display, and the pieces are continually becoming more spectacular in both quality and quantity.
MAC/VAL – Musee d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne
Address: Place de la Liberation, 94400 Vitry-sur-Seine, Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 91 64 20
Admission Fee: €４
Hours: Tue to Sun from 12pm to 7pm, Thu from 12pm to 9pm.
By Metro: Line 7 (direction Mairie d’Ivry) to Ptrte de Choisy then take bus #183 (direction Only Terminal Sud) to Moulin de Saquet-Pelletan.