What artistic direction is this new exhibition venue taking in Monaco?
The Villa Paloma and Villa Sauber together form the New National Museum of Monaco (Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – NMNM). For several months now, the team at the NMNM have been reflecting, drawing up an inventory, organising and questioning – they have been talking to historians, restorers, designers and lighting specialists, receiving artists and looking at ways to renew our concept of heritage and how we can convey this to the public. This collective work has a name: “Training for a Museum”. It is contributing to the public’s understanding of what constitutes a National Museum and how it fits into the contemporary world. By offering two exhibitions per year and per venue, the NMNM will be able to put the spotlight on a neglected heritage, while encouraging discovery of the contemporary scene. As of now, “Training for a Museum” has clarified guidelines for the Villa Sauber and Villa Paloma around two inseparable themes relating to the Principality’s cultural, historic and artistic heritage: Art and Spectacle at the Villa Sauber, and Art and Territory at the Villa Paloma. The “Go-Between” seeks to multiply the points where they meet, to elicit questions and to make sense of it all. This concept brings together all the NMNM’s projects destined for the public and will be expanded around three axes: implementation of the programmes; devising mediation tools; and developing a wide variety of partnerships.
“La Carte d’après Nature” is the first exhibition at the Villa Paloma: why this choice?
The decision was made after much thought on a collection that would reflect Nature as a theme and following a discussion with Thomas Demand during a trip to Berlin. We were talking about him participating in a group exhibition, but his affinity with artists such as Luigi Ghirri led us to the obvious conclusion: we should ask him to do the first project and give him the whole of Villa Paloma; the principle being of course to give the artist carte blanche while seeing how we could help him in this new adventure. The exhibition La carte d’après Nature (the map according to nature) is an undisguised homage by Thomas Demand to René Magritte and depicts a series of exceptional works, the majority by contemporary artists, lent by museums, collectors from all over the world or the artists themselves. Indeed, in 1952 René Magritte published 14 editions of a magazine called La Carte d'après Nature in which he combined poetry, illustrations, news and other contributions before sending these publications in the form of simple postcards.
Which artists has Thomas Demand, curator of this exhibition, selected?
The artist Thomas Demand has selected works which reflect on Nature in its many representations, all of them being linked in a poetic, associative and elegant way. Among those artists whose work will be on show are: Kudjoe Affutu, Saâdane Afif, Becky Beasley, Martin Boyce, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Chris Garofalo, Luigi Ghirri, Leon Gimpel, Rodney Graham, Henrik Håkansson, Anne Holtrop, August Kotzsch, René Magritte, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Jan and Joël Martel Sigmar Polke, and Ger Van Elk. A publication, produced by MACK with an essay by Christy Lange and texts by Thomas Demand, Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham and René Magritte, is available in French and English and will be on sale in the museum. Visitors can also take advantage of a mini-guide which will help them to better understand the exhibition.