In Praise of the Spooky: Why I Like Quai Branly – Graham Harman

Dialogica Fantastica

The Musée du Quai Branly opened in 2006 in Paris: a red Lego warehouse suspended in midair, with the nearby Eiffel Tower rising above the neighboring apartment houses. The Museum was built to house non-Western artworks previously scattered throughout the city, not without protest from the curators of their former homes. The masses have quickly embraced Quai Branly; the ticket queues are daunting enough that I abandoned my first effort to visit and returned the following day. Predictably, the mass appeal of the Museum is explained by many critics as the result of vulgar theatrics and intellectual emptiness. True enough, there are numerous cases of popular success where such charges are richly deserved. But in the present case, I find myself on the side of the masses, and opposed to the joyless subtlety of those who believe that the sole function of the intellect is to make the world more…

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