Vue de l'installation de l'artiste néo-zélandais Greg Semu
The 15 Jul 2007

Greg Semu

Artist residence

Ever since its inauguration, the quai Branly Museum has placed an important focus on contemporary art. By welcoming the artist Greg Semu into residency from 15th July to 15th October 2007, the museum confirms its desire to participate in the non-western creation of the history of art.

About the artist residence

A New Zealand artist of Samoan origin, Greg Semu’s séjour will enable visitors to discover a ‘work in progress’ that will lead to the creation of many works. It will also give visitors the opportunity to encounter the ethereal Maori heritage of the art of tattooing, which is present in this young photographer and visual artist’s unique style.

Greg Semu’s residency will culminate in the creation of an original work: a photographic painting, representing a battle scene and adapted by the artist; this will stand as an ironic counterpart to the photograph donated to the quai Branly Museum by the legendary All Blacks rugby team in June 2007. In the context of the Culture Scrum event, these two works, which represent two aspects of New Zealand Culture, will be installed in the museum's hall from 1st September to 20th October 2007, near the entrance to the Jacques Kerchache reading room.

For the duration of his residency, Greg Semu will work on a main piece that he has chosen to entitle ‘The Battle of the Noble Savages’. For this project, the artist takes inspiration from the famous painting by Jacques-Louis David: ‘Le Premier Consul Franchissant les Alpes au col du Grand Saint Bernard’ also known as ‘Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass’ or ‘Bonaparte Crossing the Alps’, which he adapts. This equestrian painting represents Napoleon, triumphant, before his victory over the Austrians in his Italian campaign sealed by the battle of Marengo, on 14th June 1800.
A painted tribute to the glory of the ‘noble savage’, an armed and tattooed Samoan warrior during the assault, the work of Greg Semu pays homage to the people of Tangata Whenua.

For this project, the artist undertook preparatory work in New Zealand: he carried out a casting and photo shoot of Maori extras to help him organise both the cavalier and the characters surrounding him in the final work. In Paris, Greg Semu is working on digitalising these images, creating the montage-collage, touching up the images and printing and framing the definitive work which will find its place opposite the photograph of the All Blacks, in the museum's hall.

  • Categorie : Exhibitions
  • Place:   Hall d’accueil
  • TimeSlots:  
    The Sunday 15 July 2007
  • Closed on monday
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday:  11:00 am-07:00 pm
    Thursday, Friday, Saturday:  11:00 am-09:00 pm
  • Public:   All publics