ABOUT BEARS AND MUSEUMS: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
I introduce you Washington, very elegant, sitting next to a beautiful edition of the book “Building The Louvre”.
For me to take this photo more than twenty years passed, between the arrival of my furry friend and the book of this museum that I got to know last year. They both mark moments of search and inspiration.
I was a scholar in Washington, the capital of the United States, when once at the market, shopping, I saw some teddy bears crowded in a basket with a sale sign. I was in a difficult research job, far from home, that mixture of joy and suffering that everyone who migrates at some point in life feels. I could not resist and went to the cashier very happy, with vegetables, canned goods, cleaning products and a bear. But I had not done the math properly, I was waiting for the scholarship payment to arrive, and I had to leave most of the purchases with the cashier. I still remember his face, trying to do the math with me, to see if I could take anything else. I did not. I left almost everything there on the counter. Only the bear, with great care, I took it back to the basket, made it comfortable in a corner, and said quietly to wait for me, that would come back to pick it up soon. I made a little mark, to make sure for both me and him, that we would not lose each other.
A few days later I went back to the market, the first stop was in the basket and, there he was! And we went together to the cashier, who said nothing, but by the look in his eyes he remembered what had happened, and with a smile blessed my departure with Washington. The name is explained by the city where I lived due to the research. Even today it occupies a place in my heart, for its museums, for the diversity of life that exists and persists. Even though it was a place of power, of complicated things and situations, I was able to witness struggles for human rights, full access to culture, museums, libraries and the most diverse cultural spaces. It was there that I realized that I could and wanted to dedicate my life to museums and art.
Many years later, among the battles we all face for what we believe, I was finally able to get to know the Louvre and the works of art that I have always seen in books, references in art history. This book shows photographed portrays through a series of illustrations the various changes that the Louvre has undergone over the years, from a hunting lodge to a world-renowned art museum.
Exactly for having a route, for having made many discoveries when I was abroad, what I have learned and continue to learn in Brazil is invaluable. I always have to look, remember and thank the recognition, affection and support received along the way by friends, teachers, mentors, co-workers.
A way of giving back and acting within something that inspires me gave birth to the Bear at the Museum project. I was looking for a way to build bridges of dialogue between museum employees and their audiences, through affection, the exchange of knowledge and the affirmation of values such as diversity, equality and culture.
I have been working on this for two years, still crawling, but with a serene and steady eye on the future.
Like the entire project on The Blue Cube, The Bear at the Museum also has and will have the size of my legs and my breath. And look, I have been doing a very interesting walk. Perhaps a little modesty is lacking, but dedication, love and conviction never.
The invitation for the scenes of the next chapters remains.