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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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Éric Romain plumber with the museum since June, 2006. Favorite place: the museum roof : « I work for an out-of-house company, and I’ve just finished a plumbing job in the staff restaurant. The systems had to be updated to standard. I only knew about the Musée d’Orsay by name. I’ve been impressed by the life it generates, especially on the square in front. There are always a lot of people: visitors, tourists, hawkers... Some sculptures like the horse or the rhinoceros are photographed all day long. And I noticed that these works have other functions. When it is really hot, the visitors rest in the shadows at the foot of the statues. Sometimes the guards have to keep visitors from climbing onto them. I never suspected the Musée d’Orsay was such a lively place. »