Can you tell us about the latest exhibition at the Villa Paloma, starting 12th of April ?
OCEANOMANIA: Memories of Mysterious Seas (from expedition to aquarium) is the title of this project by Mark Dion. Continuing his investigations as a naturalist, archaeologist and traveller, the American artist explores the collections in Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum to create a cabinet of monumental curiosities from the undersea world. He also dives into the NMNM’s own collections for this major event, which will include works by a selection of artists as well. The exhibition will be held at two sites.
With this project, Dion is examining our perception of the ocean. He questions our sense of wonder when faced with its enormous diversity and our sadness over its destruction. He explores the changes in our fascination for the sea and thereby reveals how the bizarre and the marvels of the oceans have always inspired research and artistic creation.
The exhibition is being jointly curated by Sarina Basta and Cristiano Raimondi (NMNM), with the science consultant Patrick Piguet (Oceanographic Museum) and Nathalie Rosticher Giordano (NMNM).
What artworks will be on show ?
Mark Dion’s show at the Villa Paloma includes the monumental series Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty thousand leagues under the sea) by Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) and the works of 20 artists including Matthew Barney, Ashley Bickerton, David Brooks, David Casini, Michel Camia, Peter Coffin, Marcel Dzama, Katharina Fritsch, Klara Hobza, Isola and Norzi, Pam Longobardi, Jean Painlevé, James Prosek, Man Ray, Alexis Rockman, Allan Sekula, Xaviera Simmons, Laurent Tixador, Abraham Poincheval and Rosemarie Trockel.
These will be in addition to an ensemble of eclectic works of art linked to the sea, which are from NMNM’s own collections, and include pieces by Lucio Fontana, J.M.W. Turner and Alphonse Visconti. Two rarely exhibited paintings by Claude Monet of the bay of Monaco will be on show for the first time in decades.
Meanwhile, the Oceanographic Museum is presenting a selection of Mark Dion’s highly specialised works. OCEANOMANIA has given him a chance to explore the Museum’s very unusual collections to create a cabinet of spectacular marine life curiosities. One of the largest ever to be created, the cabinet brings together a wide variety of different shapes and sizes of objects: tiny fossils, life-size relics from the sea, stuffed fish, a polar bear, scientific documents and more.
Can you tell us briefly about other projects in the pipeline ?
From 22nd of June 2011 until February 2012, the Villa Sauber will host an exhibition entitled Looking up… On Aura Tout Vu à la Villa Sauber (we will have seen everything at the Villa Sauber). For the occasion, part of Madeleine de Galéa’s collection of dolls and automatons will be shown in a wonderfully surreal and extravagant setting created by the exhibition’s two fashion designers, Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov. The co-curator for this exhibition is Béatrice Blanchy (NMNM) and we are particularly delighted that Lydia Kamitsis, an independent curator who specialises in fashion, will contribute.