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“Lyrics” or Legends of the Australian Desert

I amhe musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac hosts a traveling exhibition designed under the auspices of the Australian National Museum, entitled “Song of Tracks” (Song).Lyrics) of tribal nations. Attested for 60,000 years, human presence on this island-continent has created a mosaic of ethnic groups that practice 250 different languages ​​but are united by common stories. The challenge here is to recover simultaneously cosmological, topographical, cultural, aesthetic, and moral relationships with the world, according to categories of conceptual and narrative modes that are entirely unique in their cultural coherence.

According to the myths of the Australian desert, the country was created by ancestors who handed down the environmental protection of the territories to their descendants. Their knowledge is materialized by epic myths with unifying value and a kind of cultural omnium that encompasses all aspects of life. The journey of the Seven Sisters was chosen for the exhibition, namely, a series of young women relentlessly pursued by Yurla, a lusty and cruel sorceress with the insidious power of transformation, like the Greek Zeus.

Constellation. The peculiarity of the opening story grafted on to this journey is that it contains polymorphic knowledge embodied in songs, ceremonies, paintings, etc., which aim to define landscapes with water points, nourishing oases, medicinal gardens, the perils and resources of the deserts of central and western Australia, an astral and practical definition of the biotope running under the stars. A blue guide for use by walkers, an Olympus Obedience a “The Ecosystem of Reality”, According to the expressionEmmanuel CasaheroPresident of the Paris Museum.

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A milk glee from the bush. To do this, the exhibition cleverly revolves around a 7-meter-high dome, ritual objects, cave-inspired paintings, photographs, videos of songs and dances, testimonies of elders vouching for transmission, and the entire semiology of the sky. Landscape life is partially digitized in the memory archive. The paintings that contemporary tribal artists have prepared for the exhibition are inspired by the signs found during the mythical journey: tracks, footprints, drawings of edges, representations of sacred animals, a molecular tachism, and many mosaics of art. Milk glee of the bush. The road makes it known, the generalization is consistent with the universal. World Reading Guide?

At a time when barbaric extinctions, deforestation, and water wars alert us to the urgency of climate protection, this wisdom of scarcity grafted onto a holistic universe offers an unforgettable lesson in which the instincts of the Great All are linked to the teaching of tenacious survival. . Pursued by a malevolent witch, the seven sisters, through these road songs, draw lines of fighting power that will be a metaphor for future choices.

“Lyrics. A Song of Australian Desert Tracks”. Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, until July 2, 2023. Catalogue: ed. El Viso/Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac Museum, 260 p., €43.