Robert Polidori: Parcours Muséologique Revisité

Exhibition Dates: January 9th – February 20th, 2010
Location: Arthur Roger@434, 434 Julia St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 9th, 6 – 8 pm
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm

Arthur Roger@434 is pleased to present “Parcours Muséologique Revisité,” an exhibition of large-scale photographs that Robert Polidori captured over a span of twenty-six years addressing the conservation of Versailles, the lavish palace outside of France which was home to the kings of France until the French Revolution. The exhibition will be on view from January 9th – February 20th, 2010 at the Arthur Roger@434, located at 434 Julia Street. The gallery will host an opening reception to meet the artist on Saturday, January 9th, from 6 to 8 pm.

Salles XVIIIeme Detail of portrait of Louis XIV by Henri Testalin, 2007

In Robert Polidori’s “Parcours Muséologique Revisité”, he approaches the restoration and revision of Versailles in a similar method as his past photographic projects. He continues the idea of presenting the interior of a room as a means of insight into the soul of those who inhabited them. Polidori believes that a room’s interior communicates the values and ideas of its inhabitants and its details on the walls present the way that the person intended themselves to be viewed. Unlike the earlier projects of Hurricane Katrina and Chernobyl where these interior spaces were captured after a disastrous event, Versailles is presented over 26 years of restoration. Each room in presented in rich detail, conveying layers of its history of the many occupants throughout time. With its constant revisions by Louis XIV and his predecessors as well as the restorations, Polidori is able to reveal a rich layering of personalities and ideas.

With this body of work Polidori challenges the idea of restoring the palace to its original state. For Polidori, Versailles is not so much genuinely old as a constant re-fabrication of the old in order to keep the past alive. Polidori states “With Versailles, I had the opportunity to witness museum restoration but I realized what was really going on was historical revisionism. What does it mean to restore something? It means to make something old new again… When you choose to restore a certain room as it was in a certain period, the period you chose is based on your contemporary worldview.”

Robert Polidori was born in 1951 in Montreal, Quebec. He moved to the United State when he was ten and briefly lived in New Orleans in his teenage years. He now lives in New York City. He is considered one of the world’s leading architectural photographers. His photographs of neglected and estranged cities including Chernobyl, Havana and New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina have received world wide acclaim. He is the author of several books, most recently Parcous Muséologique Revisté, an epic three volume collection of his Versailles published in 2009 by Steidl. He has been awarded the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography in 1999 and 2002 and the Word Press Award for his coverage of the Getty Museums construction in 1998.

For additional information please contact the Arthur Roger Gallery at 504.522.1999 or visit our Web site