exhibition

Gérard Uféras
A Day in the Museum

26 April 2024 — 25 August 2024
  • Gérard Uféras. A Day in the Museum

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art presents an exhibition by the French photographer Gérard Uféras exploring an important phenomenon of modern culture, the museum

  • A witty account of people visiting Centre Pompidou, Louvre Museum, MoMA, and other well-known institutions

  • An artistic and anthropological survey of the contemporary museum-goers

  • An opportunity to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes and reflect on our own encounters with art

  • Gérard Uféras. Centre Pompidou, in Front of Picasso’s Harlequin. Paris, January 2017. Digital print. MAMM collection / © Gérard Uféras
  • Gérard Uféras. Musée d’Orsay. Paris, February 2017. Digital print. MAMM collection / © Gérard Uféras
  • Gérard Uféras. Palais de Tokyo, Days Are Dogs Exhibition by Camille Henrot. Paris, November 2017. Digital print. MAMM collection / © Gérard Uféras
  • Gérard Uféras. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. Moscow, February 2019. Digital print. MAMM collection / © Gérard Uféras
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The exhibition A Day in the Museum was first presented at the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow as part of the 11th Moscow International Biennale Fashion and Style in Photography – 2019.

Gérard Uféras has been active in photojournalism and fashion photography for many years. He is also a big music enthusiast, passionate about opera and ballet. In the late 1990s, he began working on a series of books about the world’s greatest opera houses. Quite fittingly, Uféras was among the acclaimed photographers who created images for a book documenting the historical renovation of the Bolshoi Theatre.

In this project, Gérard Uféras explores an important phenomenon of modern culture, the museum. It has been the subject of countless images captured by celebrated Russian and international photographers in the latter half of the 20th century; now, in the 21st century, museums in Russia and abroad continue to inspire the younger generation of lensmen. This interest is understandable: over the recent decades, museums have been changing rapidly, public enthusiasm for art is on the rise, and the average museum-goer is growing ever younger. Modern museums play host to concerts, performance art, film screenings, and poetry readings. Public talks and educational programmes become de rigueur for any museum institution.

How do visitors get their bearings at a museum which, apart from traditional tour guides, is now boasting audio guides, QR codes, and interactive smartphone apps? With the advent of new technologies and new features, has the most important thing been preserved – the instance of personal contact between the viewer and the artwork? As Marcel Duchamp displayed a bottle rack and the controversial urinal at a New York museum in 1917, he used this conceptual gesture to emphasise the significance of a museum environment for the perception of art, which is rendered dead without the viewer. Our interpretation of an artwork depends largely on our preparedness for it – that is, our cultural background and ability to actualise our experience at that particular moment.

For Gérard Uféras, this project is a chance to act simultaneously as artist, anthropologist, and sociologist – observing, capturing, and analysing what he sees with subtlety and humour. The result of Uféras’s creative inquiry into his subject is far more than just a clever and witty account of people visiting all kinds of museums: it offers each of us an opportunity to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes and reflect on our own encounters with art.

about the artist

Gérard Uféras is the recipient of prestigious awards, including Prix Villa Médicis hors les murs (1990), World Press Photo Prize (1997), and Fedrigoni Top Award (2013). His work regularly appears in international publications such as Libération, The Independent Magazine, Marie Claire (Italy), Marie Claire (France), Madame Figaro, Le Monde, L'Officiel, L'Express, and Paris Match. Exhibitions of Uféras’s work have been held in major museums and galleries worldwide, among them Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne and Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. Gérard Uféras has published 14 books. His images feature in the collections of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), Fonds National d'Art Contemporain (Paris), Bibliothèque Nationale de France, National Gallery (London), Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, and other institutions.

The exhibition is presented by the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow



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