In a quarantined museum, statues talk: Alexandre Humbert’s new video

The designer portrays in his short film Les Impatients the quarantine period lived in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Alexandre Humbert, with a background in product design, investigates in his short film Les Impatients the life and emptiness experienced during the quarantine of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. It closed to the public on March 15, like many other institutions around the world due to the quarantine following the health emergency of covid-19, a period during which “it was interesting to look at how museums have revolutionized the methodology of communication, to give online visitors the opportunity to stay in touch with the works on display.”

Three months after the closure of the museum, the viewer is led, through slow images, into the rooms where the objects become the real protagonists of the space, which can only exist “if contemplated”. The filming is accompanied by the narration of the new everyday life of Gino, Florence and Olivier, museum employees, with this common feeling of impatience, which we all experienced in our own way.

“It was necessary for me to go beyond the surface of a screen, behind walls of empty cities and see how objects and people still being inside closed museums behave and not how they look from the outside. The museum is the primary material of the film in which objects from the collection and temporary exhibitions are the actors,” tells us the director of the short film. “For the filming, I had the constraint to be only by myself, accompanied by a security agent, wearing a mask so it directly created an emotion between the covered objects and myself. I asked the museum to shut down as many lights as they could to amplify the dark spaces that the emptiness of visitors created, a feeling that was striking during the day of scouting”.


“The film isn’t a documentary, it is a subjective look at a very unique situation so the sound was really important to amplify this intention”. The music that links and accompanies the video clips is by Arnaud Pujol, a composer with whom Humert has worked for several years. “He worked on it after the editing as an intuitive reaction to the images. It was important to feel the silence on the sound but at the same time, I wanted to use it to highlight the rhythm of the stroll defined by the 3 characters”.

Alexandre Humbert
Gino Anoumantou, Florence Bertin, Olivier Gabet
Composizione musicale:
Arnaud Pujol
Anne-Solène Delfolie, Olivier Hassler, Hélène Prats, Cloé Pitiot, Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

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