From our special correspondent
In Lausanne, Switzerland, the station district got a new start with the inauguration of Platform 10, a district dedicated to the arts which brings together three museums: the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts (MCBA), the Cantonal Museum of and contemporary applied arts (Mudac) and Photo-Élysée, the Cantonal Museum for Photography. In homage to the famous “Crocodiles” of the Swiss Federal Railways, a monumental sculpture by Olivier Mosset and Xavier Veilhan inspired by the mythical locomotive in green livery welcomes visitors to the vast esplanade of the district. This is where the locomotive repair area used to be. “Zug Treno Tren train”, the common theme of the inaugural event was found. Each of the museums declines it in a specific and transdisciplinary exhibition establishing correspondences between fine arts, design and photography.
In the MCBA’s impressive brick building designed by Spanish firm Barozzi-Veiga, these are “big-breasted locomotives prancing on the rails” celebrated in the Manifesto of Futurism which open the “Imaginary Voyages” exhibition. Beneath the tutelary figure of Giorgio De Chirico, with the painted and engraved work of Edward Hopper as a red thread, some sixty masterpieces by the Italian Futurists, Magritte, Paul Delvaux and Leonor Fini invite the visitor to a dreamlike journey where floats a feeling of disturbing strangeness tinged with surrealism, dark fantasies or eroticism.
Next stop at Mudac, on the upper floor of the brand new building with minimalist elegance designed by the Portuguese agency Aires Mateus. The exhibition “Let’s meet at the station” offers a free path combining design objects, contemporary art installations, graffiti and videos. Designed like a movie set with multiple sets, everyone is free to invent their own scenario, with the station novel specially composed for the occasion in hand. In joyful disorder, under the gaze of station clocks, railway advertisements by Salvador Dali or Nan Goldin rub shoulders with works by Christian Boltanski, Marina Abramovic, Sophie Calle and JR.
Terminus, everyone goes down to the lower floor of the building which houses the new Photo-Élysée museum and its river exhibition “Crossed destinies”, in which we drown: from the first experiences of users and the artistic avant-gardes until for today’s uses, from Gare Saint-Lazare to New York via Hokkaido, Mexico City or Kibera, a journey of 350 pieces, objects, documents, paintings, engravings, films and photographs that covers a century and a half of railway history.
But who embraces too much, embraces badly! From this kaleidoscope remain in memory the poignant series of acrylics on cardboard on the deportation trains of the Austrian Roma artist, survivor of the camps, Ceija Stojka, and photographic nuggets of Cartier-Bresson, Kertész, Winston Link, Louis Stettner, Berenice Abbott or Feininger to contemplate.