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Muses d'Orsay

Muses d’Orsay is my response to a commission from the Musée d’Orsay asking me to photograph the museum’s employees in their place of work. With the Musée d’Orsay housing the national collection of 19th century works, I suggested that each employee take his or her own photograph with a rubber bulb snap like in the old days. Each person had ten takes, in other words a roll of film. It was up to each to choose when and how they would be photographed. So they became artists for the time it took them to photograph themselves and thus assume responsibility for their own image.

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Stéphane Bayard deputy head of the exhibitions department with the museum since 1987. Favorite work of art: Le Fifre by Édouard Manet : « The exhibitions department assists the curators in implementing the museum's temporary programs. We handle the whole administrative side such as requests for the loans of art work from museums and private collectors, then we transmit the information gathered to the exhibition curators. We are also responsible for insuring the works, so we contact the art directors who, in collaboration with the curators, present the works. We also work with the installers. In 1995 for example, I saw marble specialists handling an imposing statue by Rodin, Le Baiser. They managed to move that enormous block that must weigh several tons with simple little wooden wedges that they placed very carefully underneath the marble. It was fascinating. »