The exhibition Regards croisés sur la nature (Crossed views of nature) brings together pieces from the zoological collection of the Château-Musée de Saumur and photographs by Magali Lambert, using the principle of dioramas of Natural History Museums.
Founded in 1829, the Saumur Museum was first a “natural history cabinet”. Installed in the attic of the Hôtel de Ville, it was enriched by archaeology and fine arts collections before moving to the château in 1912 to become the Château-Musée that we know today.
The natural science collections gradually disappeared from the permanent exhibition. Today they are back in the castle’s rooms and in the museum’s display cabinets thanks to the work of Magali Lambert.
The animals are turned towards the photographic landscapes, instead of being turned towards the spectators as in a traditional diorama.
They are the first visitors to the museum, they are the viewers, the carriers of our own questions.
These stagings evoke the need to escape, to return to nature, in a parodic tone. The living rubs shoulders with the inert. It is both immobilised and immortalised by photography and taxidermy. Temporalities are superimposed, 19th century objects enter into 21st century photographs. Contemplative or in action, the animals are mixed with the images in the form of contemporary dioramas acting as Memento Mori.