Gaetano Pesce, Porto Vase, 2003
Courtesy  Collection CIRVA, Marseilles
image © CIRVA


-Homage to the bottle, source of intoxication

Two museums are bringing together their collections to cast new light on wine containers. The shape of a wine bottle may seem unchangeable, but there are, and always have been, many possible variations upon it. What links a wooden cup and a stylish carafe? What stories could be told by age-old containers and glass objets d’art? Through the exhibition and accompanying publication, This Is Not a Bottle ! sets up an unexpected encounter between two worlds: those of ethnology and contemporary creativity. 

Posted 11 November 2015

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This project was born out of a desire shared by the two institutions. The Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (mudac) and the Musée valaisan de la Vigne et du Vin (Valais Museum of the Vine and Wine MVVV) have brought together both their collections, enriched by loans from around Europe and the United States, and their perspectives on the bottle. They spotlight around sixty pieces, all of great cultural and artistic value. This dialogue between objects relating to the histories of wine and design also raises questions around forms, usages and symbols. 

formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi et Simone Farresin), Jug, 2011
Collection mudac
Image © AN - Arnaud Conne

Mariken Dumon, Wine Red Perfume – Atlas, 2011
Courtesy of the artist
Image © Lieven Herreman

Rare cultural and artistic objects

The exhibition curators have created interesting links between these varied wine containers. You can see, for example, ancient kegs once used by thirsty peasants in the fields rubbing shoulders with portable vessels by the Czech designer Tadeáš Podracký. Similarly a wooden birthing cup is presented alongside the famous Strange Carafe by the sculptor Etienne Meneau… This carafe evokes a network of veins, a reminder of wine’s fortifying role. In paraphrasing the painter Magritte’s famous Ceci n’est pas une pipe, the museums are challenging their visitors to consider the way these objects, which relate to the ways we see, drink and serve wine, are represented. 

Gonçalo Campos/FABRICA, Sede, 2009
Courtesy Gonçalo Campos/FABRICA
Image © Gustavo Million / FABRICA 2009

Etienne Meneau, Strange Carafe n°6, 2011
Prêt de l’artiste
Image © Etienne Meneau

Pieke Bergmans, Water II Caraf, 2011
Collection mudac
Image © AN - Arnaud Conne

A historic, aesthetic and playful publication

The book This Is Not a Bottle ! both celebrates this selection of objects and imparts meaning to them. While the images illuminate the beauty and unique nature of the containers, the curators’ words set the pieces back in their contexts. These receptacles evolved alongside wine’s social function and commercial development, until they reached the cylindrical form of the modern bottle. For their part, the designers and artists play humorously on the shapes and times. Published in an oblong format reminiscent of a bottle, this book is both elegant and playful.

Tadeás Podracký, The Travelling Carafe with Glass, Finland Carafe, 2012 (gauche/left) & The Leather Carafe with Glass, Finland Carafe, 2012 (droite/right)
Prêts de l’artiste
Image © Jaroslav Kvíz

Coupe d’accouchée, début 20e siècle/early 20th century
Collection Musée Valaisan de la vigne et du vin
Image © MVVV/R. Hofer

Tonnelet monoxyle, début 20e siècle/early 20th century
Collection Musée Valaisan de la vigne et du vin
Image © MVVV/R. Hofer

Tonnelet monoxyle, début 20e siècle/early 20th century
Collection Musée Valaisan de la vigne et du vin
Image © MVVV/R. Hofer

Vogt & Weizenegger, Dyonisos' Stomach, 2003
Collection mudac
Image © Cédric Bregnard

Tuesday 17 November from 18.00, attended by Amélie Bannwart, new curator of the contemporary glass art collection
Dates and hours 18 November 2015 – 5 June 2016
Tuesday-Sunday 11.00-18.00
Open on every public holiday, Mondays included, except on 25 December and 1 January
24 and 31 December : 11.00-16.00
Free admission on the first Saturday of the month
Guided tours (in French) Saturday 5 December 2015 at 16.00
Saturday 5 March 2016 at 16.00
Saturday 7 May 2016 at 16.00

Pl. Cathédrale 6
CH-1005 Lausanne
+41 (0)21-3152530

Matali Crasset, Bouteille à la croix, 2008
mudac collection
Image © AN - Marie Humair 

Mathieu Mercier, Reny, 2003
mudac collection
Image © Cédric Bregnard

Yves Netzhammer, Flower-Liquidity in a Space Full of Time, 2003
Collection mudac
Image © Cédric Bregnard

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