Louvre Lens – for kids


Mulimedia guide with kids tours in the Grande Gallerie

On an overcast day I took my kids along to Louvre Lens in France. It was a hit, not necessarily for the splendid art works exhibited in the Galerie du Temps but mainly for the mobile multimedia guide which comes free with your ticket (kids till 12 yrs get a free ticket). The white device was immediately baptised as ‘iPhone’ by the kids and they loved it.

On the multimedia guide they can select adventure tours specifically designed for kids. A tour playfully guides them along 10 artworks: they have to search them, they listen to a story about the work and then there is a question to answer which requires careful observation of the work. At the end of the tour they can see how many ‘treasure boxes’ they have discovered (one for every first time right question). It kept them absorbed for more than an hour. But even days later, they still mentioned things they learned from their visit.


The multimedia guide has 3D immersion and content is available in 3 languages: Dutch, English and French.
For adults there are themed commentaries (Myths and Legends, Arts and Religions, etc.) in which specialists on the collections of the Louvre Museum guide you in your exploration of the artworks on display.

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In the Galerie du Temps not only are works from the collections of the Louvre museum presented, they are exhibited in a new way: the artworks are chronologically presented in a single 120m long gallery without any divisions. In this way, instead of stressing what divides and distances them, the Louvre-Lens will stress what brings civilisations together and what unites artistic practices.
And all that provides a very nice visiting experience, for kids and parents alike!

Dear Louvre Lens, just one more thing. How about a playground in the beautiful park?




Venice Biennale Revisited – Prabhavathi Meppayil

Prabhavathi Meppayil, Untitled, 2011 - copper wire embedded in lime gesso panel, 122x183 cm

Prabhavathi Meppayil, Untitled, 2011 – copper wire embedded in lime gesso panel, 122×183 cm

The Venice Biennale provides an amazing art overload for the visitor and so I thought it would be nice to take the time to revisit the 2013 edition which i visited in September 2013. Which works left a lasting impression? Which artists were googled after coming home?

In Massimiliano Gioni’s exhibition “The Encyclopedic Palace”, the works by Prabhavathi Meppayil created for me a place of meditation, openness and concentrated concentration. Her nearly achromatic works could blend into the white wall. Seen at close range, however, the lines on her pale panels reveal their materials: copper (or gold or silver) wire embedded in heavily gessoed surfaces. The “Untitled series” brings together the artist’s exploration of the language of minimalism.

Prabhavathi Meppayil, Untitled CU3, 2011 at Venice Biennale 2013

Prabhavathi Meppayil, Untitled CU3, 2011 at Venice Biennale 2013

Meppayil works mainly with lime gesso panels. Her creative process is a kind of marking; she scratches and breaks open the surface of these panels.  “Physical involvement is vital to my work, so the ‘time’ that the work contains. The process of working is repetitive, intense and at the same time liberating, it has no beginning or end.”

Prabhavathi Meppayil was born in Bangalore, India, in 1965. And that’s where she still lives and works . Her own roots – she comes from a family of goldsmiths – can be found as traces in her artistic practice. The works – made in a goldsmith’s workshop – bare traces of the same materials and tools as the jewellery makers. Her metals are melted in the same crucibles and stretched with the same clamps. Meppayil’s works suggest that tradition remains in motion, guided equally by the history of a craft and the hands through which it passes.

She is marked in my memory as a very interesting discovery at the Venice Biennale 2013!