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Oscar Munoz Exhibition

Oscar Munoz

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Why you will love it?

For the first time ever in France, an exhibition of the works of Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz is presented at the Musée du Jeu de Paume, an intimate and beautiful museum located in the historic Jardin des Tuileries. Although quite small, this exhibition highlights the themes that are dear to this contemporary artist. Enjoy! Parisianist.

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About this place

Musée du Jeu de Paume, 1 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris
Line 1 / 8 / 12 - Concorde

Tuesday : 11:00 am - 21:00 pm
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Monday : Closed Tuesday : 11:00 am - 21:00 pm Wednesday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm Thursday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm Friday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm Saturday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm Sunday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm
1 January 1 May 25 December

Our Insiders' Article


Muñoz might not be the most famous contemporary artist, but this exhibition is well worth a visit. The name of the exhibition is “Protographies”, a word play and neologism which could be defined as the contrary of photography. Muñoz’s work is not about freezing the moment with a camera, but rather taking it one step further and illustrating what happens after. Through his fascination for the altering image, this interesting exhibition tackles the theme of transmission and memory loss.



Oscar Muñoz was born in Colombia in 1951. It is during his studies at the Institute of Fine Arts of Cali that he develops a fascination for everything that is short-lived and fleeting. Muñoz does not concentrate on one type of art, but rather touches all kinds of artistic supports such as painting, photography, sculpture and video. The 1980’s mark a turning point in Muñoz’s career as he starts experimenting with the interactivity between his creations and the visitors, as well as with new unusual supports.

First Hall

The exhibition starts off in Cali, where Muñoz investigated the latino urban network and those that define it. The ephemeral theme is present in this part of the exhibition through the subjects treated, like for example the Polaroid photos gathered from various street photographers and then combined to turn them into an interesting whole. The fleeting moment is also visible in the gigantic picture of the aerial view of Cali, put on the floor and covered in broken glass that the visitors modify each time they step on it.


Second Hall

It is in the 2nd hall that the great 1980’s change in Muñoz’s work is visible. The supports are all very different, like for example the screen prints on shower curtains or his own charcoal portrait “drawn” on water. This last artwork really illustrates Muñoz’s artistic creativity as the portrait evolves with the evaporation of the water before becoming a simple pile of dust at the bottom of the bowl. This series is an allegory for life, a proof of its fragility and a reflection on the change in one’s image.

Third Hall

A video shows a hand filled with water in which you see the reflection of the artist’s face. But slowly, the water flows through the fingers and the portrait starts to disappear. This is a reference to the myth of Narcissus, who was madly in love with his own reflection in the water and who slowly wasted away as he could not touch or embrace the person he loved. The other captivating artwork in this room is the video installation of faces of dead people printed in charcoal on water. Just like his own self portrait in the 2nd hall, the portraits vanish as the water disappears. But at the moment it becomes dust, the video is played backwards and the faces reappear again.

Forth Hall

This is where the most impressive artwork is found, one that needs the participation of the visitors to exist. A series of small mirrors are lined up at face height. At first, the visitor only notices a normal mirror, but then something happens: with his breath and vapor, portraits of dead people taken from obituaries appear. The dead are therefore brought back to life by the living, which is a topic that Muñoz cherishes above all. His work revolves around post-mortem artistic resurrection.


Last Hall

In the last exhibition hall, the videos are played at a very fast pace. Several flat screens show the on going video of a film development laboratory developing or dissolving films in a fast forward motion. The visitors get lost in this constant apparition / disappearance of portraits, and are almost built up to a hypnotized state. The exhibition ends with one of Muñoz’s more personal creations where one can spot his father in a blinding light, a portrait of his mother behind him and white sheets sometimes covering the faces. This video of this man who sometimes dozes off because of the heat, has something almost deranging yet fascinating at the same time.


Whether it’s for the diversity of the artistic support or for the message that Muñoz wants to carry out through his work, this “Protographie” exhibition is really interesting. The visit takes less than one hour to cover, but you will surely not be disappointed as there are truly a lot of powerful messages in Muñoz’s work.

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