Robert Wilson — Living Rooms


Mixed media

Robert Wilson
Living Rooms

Past: November 11, 2013 → February 17, 2014

Some forty years after he first created a sensation on the French theater scene with Deafman Glance, Robert Wilson is the Louvre’s latest guest curator. No mere retrospective or remembrance, this event marks an unprecedented collaboration between the world’s quintessential museum and the artist who, in the words of Louis Aragon, is “what we, from whom Surrealism was born, dreamed would come after and go beyond us.”

The theme of Wilson’s residency at the Louvre, Living Rooms, reflects his wish to infuse the museum with the spirit of the Watermill Center on Long Island, the artists’ community where he lives, works, shares his personal collection of art and artifacts with the public, and nurtures the creativity of young and emerging artists. In the Salle de la Chapelle, Wilson presents an exhibition clearly conveying his creative processes, featuring a selection of objects that serve as the raw material for his artistic inspiration.

When he first spotted a former Western Union building in Water Mill, Long Island about two hours from New York City, Robert Wilson knew it would be the ideal place to store a collection of art and artifacts as well as his archives and to give free rein to experimentation by inviting young artists for summer residencies each year. The elements making up the Watermill Collection are fascinating for the role they play in Wilson’s creative process. Works of art from Oceania share space with ancient Chinese ceramics, contemporary photographs, chairs of all periods, and found objects. All of these things, often incongruous and highly disparate in quality, seem to have been amassed as raw material later to be distilled by the artist. In the spirit of the Surrealist collections, and especially that of André Breton, this medley speaks less of the objects themselves than of the gaze of the artist who selected them and brought them together. Conceived by Wilson himself, the exhibition design evokes the way in which these works constitute the environment of his daily life and serve as a permanent source of inspiration.

In the Louvre’s auditorium, Wilson hosts and takes part in a series of performances, conversations, film screenings, and discussions giving a glimpse into the personal perspective shaping his work as a theater and opera director, artist and designer who takes particular pleasure in dislodging any preconceived ideas one might have about him. This wide-ranging program offers the public an exceptional opportunity to share precious moments with Wilson himself, but also with a number of influential figures in his artistic circle, such as Christopher Knowles and CocoRosie.

Exhibition curators: Robert Wilson and Philippe Malgouyres, curator, Department of Decorative Arts, Musée du Louvre

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Palais royal, musée du Louvre

75001 Paris

Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 9 AM – 6 PM
Late night on Wednesday, Friday until 9:30 PM
Lundi, jeudi, samedi, dimanche : fermeture des salles à partir de 17h30

Admission fee

Full rate €17.00

D’octobre à mars : le premier dimanche de chaque mois, l’accès aux collections permanentes est gratuit pour tous.

The artist

  • Robert Wilson