The river of ideas

Recently, I’ve visited Musee du quai Branly in Paris. It is a fascinating place. A stone throw from one of the most faded symbols of Paris—the Eiffel Tower (it is very difficult to take a picture of the Tower without it looking kitschy)—it offers a great piece of architecture and a great collection of artefacts related to native cultures around the world. The whole idea of this museum is to try and establish virtual communication between various cultures in different ages and places.

On the long and winding ramp leading from the entrance to the upper floors, where the permanent exhibition is located, an installation is positioned so it follows the flow. That piece, made by Charles Sandison and titled The River (2010), is an example of an excellent collaboration between architecture and visual arts. The river is made of words and the flow is perfectly in sync with the curves and the flow. One feels as if following the flow of ideas, not visual elements dancing on the floor.