Nantes

Jean-Pierre Bertrand

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

The catalogue for this exhibition, conceived by Jean-Pierre Bertrand, is dedicated to Robinson Kreutzaer, the main character in Daniel Defoe’s The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. Everyone knows the name of Defoe’s protagonist as “Robinson Crusoe,” but few realize that “Crusoe” is the anglicized version of “Kreutzaer,” the German name of the character’s father, and that “Robinson” was his mother’s patronymic. From the outset, then, Bertrand portrays a discrepancy between “reality” and what we read and see.

One might anticipate some sort of “exotic” installation, composed of plastic plants and fruits, and handy gadgets like those devised by the ingenious Robinson in order to survive on his desert island, or perhaps even some taxonomic presentation of these things. But no, the reference to Robinson Crusoe, as the intellectual matrix of Bertrand’s

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