The Musée d’Orsay, the legendary museum dedicated to impressionist and post-impressionist art housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station in the center of Paris, has a big show on the legacy of Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade, coming up in a few days (show starts October 14). The show, called “Sade: Attacking the Sun,” will focus on “the revolution of representation opened up by the author’s writings,” according to the museum. The exhibit will feature presumably challenging and sensuous works by artists such as Goya, Géricault, Ingres, Rops, Rodin, and Picasso. De Sade’s groundbreaking works include Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue and 120 Days of Sodom, which was later adapted by Pier Paolo Pasolini as Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
On its website, the Musée d’Orsay warns (in bold text), “The violent nature of some of the works and documents may shock some visitors.” A similar disclaimer might apply to the show’s promotional video, directed by video artists David Freymond and Florent Michel. In keeping with the Marquis’ licentious philosophy and writings, the video consists entirely of quick cuts of dozens of (mostly white) people engaged in group sex in a huge darkened expanse. The camera eventually pulls out to reveal that the bodies are configured to spell the word “SADE.”
Funny—the only orgy I was ever at, we spelled out the word “EXCELSIOR.”
The video is NSFW but that should be pretty obvious, and to be honest it’s pretty low-stakes smut…..