Second research trip to Bordeaux in preparation for an exhibition at CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
The exhibition will present existing artworks (including several from CAPC’s collection) alongside commissioned pieces, as well as documents and objects from Bordeaux’s municipal archives, seeking to problematise the time-span of museums and consider their collections as tangible material history.
Upon arrival, led by Bruno Cahuzac (Maître de conférence), we visited the incredible carothèque-lithothèque at the Université de Bordeaux in Talence which houses over 30,000 core samples from the subsoil of the Aquitaine basin.
We also went back to the Archives Bordeaux Métropole to continue looking for documents related to the trade with the former French colonies of the Antilles (known as "sugar islands"). We also visited the Archives Départamentales / Gironde where we found further evidence of CAPC musée's past as the former warehouse for colonial commodities known as Entrépot Lainé.
Delving deeper into colonial landscapes and commodities exchange we were glad to revisit the permanent presentation of the Marcel Chatillon Collection at the Musée d'Aquitaine, which includes an incredible selection of over 600 documents and iconographic representations of slave working conditions, as well as portraits, flora and landscapes from the 17th to the 20th Century.
Some of the Bordeaux's frantic maritime trade is visible in Pierre Lacour's majestic "Vue d'une partie du port et des quais de Bordeaux dits des Chartrons et de Bacalan" (1804–1806) one of the most iconic pieces in the Musée des Beaux-Arts (below).
On the left one can identify the two iconic conical towers of Hôtel Fenwick, built between 1796-99 by Jean-Baptiste Dufart, and the location of the first Embassy of the United States. Out of the picture, also on the left, a few years later in 1822, architect and engineer Claude Deschamps would build the Entrêpot Lainé, headquarters of the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux since 1974.
Photo of the Entrêpot Lainé published in the book "Bordeaux: Il y a 100 ans en cartes postales anciennes" by Fabienne Texier and Jean-Claude Bertreau.
- Cover Story, May 2016: Material histories – spilling the beans at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (10 May 2016).