The Gatekeepers

Palais Longchamps - Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille 

Wooden poles, metal, taxidermy, woodcarving, various objects

Commissioned by Manifesta 13 Marseille

Supported by Ammodo, Drosos Foundation and N.A !

The installation: "Tiger fed by a Raven" after Giovanni Lanfranco's “Elijah fed by a Raven” (1624 – 1625) 

The Gatekeepers draw on the tradition of erecting totem poles at the gates of certain communities. These vertical pillars can welcome, warn or simply tell the story of the people who once lived there. Using figures inspired by the animal kingdom, the aquatic world or crossbreed beasts, The Gatekeepers welcome visitors to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille and offer a tribute to the souls of all the animals lodged in the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, only a few steps away, in the opposite wing of Palais Longchamp.

 

Despite the proximity of both these institutions, they reassert the divide between nature and culture – a key feature of knowledge production in western modernity. These vertical pillars offer a substitute to the ‘pillars of knowledge’ that these museums represent, while also echoing the colonnade balcony that connects them both.