French-Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch presents Le Jardin Mécanique, an installation conceived especially for the Villa Sauber in Monaco.

This exhibition gives us the opportunity to discover the works of Latifa Echakhch, which evolve around questions of cultural identity and how it is depicted.

Curated by Célia Bernasconi, ‘Le Jardin Mécanique is inspired by some of the Principality’s most iconic places such as the Opéra Garnier or the Exotic Garden, and features an artificial landscape suspended from the ropes of imaginary theatrical gantries. To create this piece of art, Echakhch produced stage sets based on the paper-set models designed by Alphonse Visconti, the decorator of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo from 1903 to 1924 for plays such as Pompeii, Rigoletto, or Masques and Bergamasques. She also drew her inspiration from the tradition of mechanical automata manufactured in 19th century Parisian workshops.

Echakhch then added her own memories of the natural landscapes of her childhood as well as her own impressions of the backstage area of playhouses.

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Born in Morocco in 1974, the artist grew up in Aix-Les-Bains, on the shores of the Lac du Bourget where famed poet Alphonse de Lamartine composed his beautiful Méditations Poétiques. Her father worked for the Casino Grand Cercle, which operated alongside a prestigious theatre, in many ways similar to the Opéra Garnier.

A graduate of the École nationale supérieure d’arts de Cergy-Pontoine and the École nationale des beaux-arts de Lyon, Latifa Echakhch has won the Prix Marchel Duchamp in 2013 and the Zurich Art Prize in 2015. Over the last few years, her works have been featured at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice (2014), Centre Pompidou in Paris (2014-2015) and the 15th Istanbul Biennial (2017).

With this brand new dreamlike landscape, halfway between earth and sky, the artist offers a journey guided by the sensations and emotions aroused by the play with forms and tries to create different experiences for the visitor without seeking to impose her approach.

Latifa Echakhch : Le Jardin Mécanique at the Villa Sauber runs until the 28th of October 2018. Tickets costs 6€ and opening hours are from 10am to 6pm daily.

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NMNM – Villa Sauber
17, ave. Princesse Grace
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 98 98 91 26

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Lead image © RIVIERA BUZZ, all rights reserved

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