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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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Baptiste Lavenne personal assistant to the head of the communications department with the museum since 2004. Favorite work of art: Exécution sans jugement sous les rois maures de Grenade by Henri Regnault : « When I came to the Musée d’Orsay – I came from the Louvre and didn’t know Orsay well – I thought it was based around impressionism. I was struck by the diversity of the works, the wealth of subject matter, the currents and the artists that are the museum’s strength, by the sculpture, photography, architecture, the decorative arts... I underwent a kind of revelation on the 19th century which, on the artistic level, I knew relatively little about. The communications department for which I work never stands still. It’s an absolute beehive because we are at the beck and call of all the other departments. The museum holds about fifteen exhibitions a year and we handle their launch, their inauguration, the posters and the advertising. In short, we mobilize so that the Musée d’Orsay and the things it organizes are as widely known as possible. »