LATIFA ECHAKHCH @ NMNM (Nouveau Musées National Monaco), Villa Sauber, APR 20 – OCT 28, 2018
APR 20 – OCT 28, 2018
Latifa Echakhch: "Le Jardin Mécanique"
NMNM (Nouveau Musées National Monaco)
April 20 – October 28, 2018

Latifa Echakhch was born in El Khnansa, Morocco, in 1974. Shortly after, her family moved to Aix-les-Bains where her father worked for the Casino Grand Cercle, with its prestigious theatre. Important aspects of her childhood were the natural landscapes that inspired some of Lamartine’s most beautiful poems and the discovery of the backstage area of the theatre and its machinery, devised and installed in the early 20th century and similar in many ways to that of the Monte Carlo Opera.

Invited by the NMNM to create new works for her exhibition, Latifa Echakhch selected numerous details from the paper set models designed by Alphonse Visconti, the decorator of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo from 1903 to 1924, which she then produced as stage sets. In the exhibition space, she unfolds a landscape as artificial as it is fantasized, composed of fragments of scenery for productions such as Pompeii, Rigoletto, or Masques and Bergamasques, which offer a distant echo to Verlaine's Fêtes Galantes or to the Méditations Poétiques composed on the shores of Lac du Bourget.

The landscape thus recomposed, suspended from the threads of an imaginary theatre machinery, is intimately linked to the tradition of the mechanical automata manufactured in the Parisian workshops in the 19th century. These “salon” toys, whose subjects reflected French colonial history and a new taste for exoticism, inspired a series of videos presented within the mechanical garden created by Latifa Echakhch.

Inspired by the setting of this emblematic residence of the Belle Époque and its rose garden, it is in the renewal of the Romantic landscape tradition and its associated topos – the contemplation of ruins – that Latifa Echakhch has conceived this last exhibition at Villa Sauber before it shuts for works.
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