I’ve visited this week this magnificent exhibition in the Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation located in Paris, not far from the Quai Branly Museum.
The quality of the jewels exhibited is amazing, items which are impossible to see on the market anymore. A big part of them are from the own collection of Yves Saint Laurent and normally on display at the Berber Museum at the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, a city he loved and visited many times from the 60’s, even before it was on the tourist route of many low cost air companies.
The exhibition is centered on different issues related to the daily lives of Berber women and around their specific skills in a number of domains, including weaving, pottery, basketry, the production of argan oil, dance, festivals, and moussems the rugs collection is also impressive, but the showcases and videos showing the everyday live are eclipsed by the sumptuous and extraordinary craftsmanship of the jewellery exhibited.
It’s worth noting the perfect display of all items in the exhibition, with showcases with black background and focused illumination and black walls with low light intensity. The exhibition is complemented with a multimedia presentation, human size, of the clothing on different Moroccan regions. This allows the public to see, on one hand, the Berber jewelry at its best in each showcase, and on the other hand allows the visitor to see all ethnic adornment in context with the corresponding attire, also by region.
(Images are from the catalogue of the exhibition)