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Once a year, Lausanne hosts the night of the museums (La Nuit des Musées) – an event that involves 24 museums in the area.  This year’s event took place this past weekend Sep 24.

The admission was CHF10 and the ticket allowed access to all the participating museums, discount at restaurants, and free transportation, all between the hours of 2pm on Saturday to 2am on Sunday.

We saw the Musée Olympique, the one and only in the world, since the Olympic Committee is located here in town.  This is one of the main reasons why tourists come to Lausanne. It certainly is worth a visit.  We saw an exhibit about “Peau” (skin) with sections on dermatologic diseases as well as tattoo, at the Fondation Verdan’s Musée de la Main – which incidentally is located across from the city’s main hospital.  We also saw a very nice collection of paintings at the Foundation of the Hermitage with works by Van Gogh, Bonnard, Vallotton and others. Félix Vallotton is new to me and apparently he was an artist from Lausanne – I like his work more than the others.

The last event of the night was Musée FMR which was really a concert/party. This event was to close the night at 4:30am.

The event was held at L’ Usine-Tridel – a railway terminal completed in 2007 where garbage from Lausanne is transported and transferred to an adjacent incinerator.  What a venue to throw a party!

As the terminal is located underground, a massive spiral ramp leads down to its entrance.

One might imagine the terminal to be dirty and smelly.  Au contraire, it has to be the best looking garbage train terminal in the world.   Smooth concrete walls and clean floors with neat train tracks – there is nothing to suggest the nature of the cargo. The entire space has been re-purposed for the evening’s event. Honestly, nobody would have guessed the actual purpose of the space.

Entrance: Red gate half pulled down for good effects – Chesterfield was sponsoring the smoking area.

Since this year’s theme is “Museums as gardens of culture”, all the promotion materials had a green theme.  Here, the lounge space had christmas trees suspended overhead and leaf motif lighting effects.  The red and green almost had a chrismas-y feel. The railroad tunnel was just visible in the picture below.

Here is a quick video lookaround :

The vast space included several train carriages that served as makeshift spaces for displaying art (e.g., ceramic turntable and mixer) and VIP seating areas.

The railroad tunnel was obviously blocked off. The stage was at one end of the tunnel with three wide screens. This is the other end – can’t help thinking about Batman’s cave.

The event was opened by MC Ardle from the UK – I arrived at 1030pm and the place was pretty empty. The video materials were provided by Supermafia – a collective from Neuchatel.  The music and the video artwork spread out on three screens worked really well in the cavernous space.

Here is a sample of the DJ/VJ’s work:

The first live act came on just after midnight and it was “The National Fanfare of Kadebostany” – not bad but a bit underwhelming for me – but evidently very exciting for some at the front. Their music was a mix of electronic beats with clarinet/saxophone, trombone, and electric guitar.

Do you want to hear the fanfare ? Click below:

I missed the other two acts. When I was leaving, busloads of people were arriving. By the time I got home, I had 11 hours of art and music – not bad for one day and only CHF10.


One Comment

  1. I was in Lausanne on 5th – 17th September for business travelling. Too bad I missed this event… hopefully I will get another chance to go there next eyar.. 🙂

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