Musée d'Orsay shocks with erotic promo video

Ben McPartland
Ben McPartland - [email protected] • 15 Oct, 2014 Updated Wed 15 Oct 2014 16:52 CEST
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This week The Local is handing its prestigious "Only in France" award to Paris's famous Musée d’Orsay, whose promotional video for its new exhibition has got pulses racing beyond the French art world. Let's just say it's "Not Safe For Work".


Dozens of people lie naked on the floor, all intertwined in a writhing, squirming mess, as arms reach up grabbing and groping at the bare flesh.

It might sound like a scene from one of DSK’s notoriously sordid sex parties, but it is in fact a video advertising a new exhibition at Paris’s famous Musée d’Orsay.

The Musée d’Orsay, which stands on the banks of the River Seine has been forced to defend itself this week over its provocative marketing campaign for its new exhibition “Sade: Attacking the Sun” (Sade. Attaquer le soleil), which opened this week.

The exhibition is aimed at highlighting the literature of France’s notorious philosopher turned erotic writer the Marquis de Sade through various artworks by painters such as Goya, Gericault, Rodin and Picasso.

But the promotional video for the exhibition does not feature these works, which was described by one French media outlet as “most unexpected from a cultural institution”.

“This is not just marketing, there is real artistic work behind this,” a spokesperson for the museum told the Nouvel Obs magazine.

Decide for yourself by watching the video below and ask yourself could you imagine London's National Gallery doing a similar marketing campaign?

(WARNING: This clip contains lots and lots of nudity)

Given the nature of the video, what is perhaps more expected is how popular it’s proved.

Since it went online on October 8th, it has been viewed over 150,000 times – however Musée d’Orsay bosses shouldn’t perhaps count on all those viewers turning up for the exhibition.

The promotional clip hasn’t proved everyone’s cup of tea and after several people expressed their outrage it was banned from being viewed by minors on YouTube due to its sexual nature.

For their part the Musée d’Orsay has apparently enjoyed the buzz that the video has made.

Join the debate about the video on our Facebook page

“I understand the video may be disturbing but at the same time the subject of the exhibition is demonic. When you visit Sade, you don’t expect to see something conventional,” a member of the museum’s management told Nouvel Obs.

The museum basically summed up their decision to plump for semi-erotic video by explaining that they had difficulty coming up with ideas for other visuals.

“In the end we decided to film the naked bodies rather than the artworks,” said the museum.

The Musée d’Orsay has history when it comes naked flesh.

Last year it’s exhibition “Male Nude” saw the assets of Naked men displayed in the hallowed halls of the museum.

The controversial exhibition displayed 200 works about male nudity dating as far back to 1800 and had the art world in Paris buzzing.

Last week's "Only in France" award was won by two politicians who had a heated grammar debate in the National Assembly. SEE LINK BELOW

Only in France: French lawmaker fined over grammar dispute



Ben McPartland 2014/10/15 16:52

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