27 July 2018

La Fabuloserie, Dicy, Yonne (89)

La Fabuloserie is an amazing museum in Dicy in the Yonne that has been open since 1983. It was the brainchild of architect and sculptor Alain Bourbonnais (1925–88) to display a collection of 'art hors-les-normes', or art brut, best translated in English as 'outsider art'. There is a wealth of art here by many artists, and I only have room here to show a few of my favourites. Visits here are in two stages, in no particular order: an open visit to the 'maison-musée', and a guided tour of the 'jardin habité'.

The most amazing exhibit of the whole collection must certainly be Pierre Avezard's Manège, which is not just a mechanical merry-go-round but a whole series of objects moving around when set in motion. Pierre (1909–92) is more commonly called 'Petit Pierre', who was deaf with a serious eye complaint and was seen by some people as stupid. Le Manège shows how wrong people can be, and the objects here are made from recycled materials. Petit Pierre worked on a farm, which not only taught him many things about the mechanical workings of objects, but allowed him to make tools for his environment, even including a washing machine. Le Manège is many things, but also in part an autobiograhy, depicting life on the farm as Petit Pierre saw it. These are just a few of the working parts, and there are clips on Youtube showing Le Manège in motion: an unbelievable sight.







Alain Bourbonneau himself has his collection Les Turbulents here: creatures from nighmares:




Francis Marshall (born 1947), was from a comfortable background, taught younger children from a deprived area in Normandy, and was horrified by the poverty, social rejection and inbreeding he saw around him. He invented Mauricette and constructed different stages in her background. Of particular interest to me are the ropes which entrap the characters, caught up in their own environment from which there is no escape, but also of course – as many other more 'privileged' people – entrapped mentally and physically by their own limitations:



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