Latifa Echakhch at NMNM

Latifa Echakhch : Le Jardin Mécanique

Latifa Echakhch presents a new installation conceived specifically for the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber. Curated by Célia Bernasconi, the exhibition combines references to the development of modern Monte-Carlo – such as the construction of the Opéra Garnier and the luxuriant gardens of exotic plants – with the artist’s own impressions and childhood memories.

Latifa Echakhch was born in El Khnansa (Morocco) in 1974. Shortly after, her family moved to Aix-les-Bains (France) 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 French poet Lamartine’s most beautiful writing and the discovery of the theatre backstage area and machinery.

Invited by the NMNM to create new work for her exhibition, Latifa Echakhch selected 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. The exhibition space presents an artificial landscape composed of fragments from sceneries created for plays such as Pompeii, Rigoletto, or Masques and Bergamasques, offering a distant echo to Verlaine’s Fêtes Galantes or Méditations Poétiques.

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

Latifa Echakhch : Le Jardin Mécanique
20 April – 28 October 2018
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber
For more information, visit NMNM website.


Featured image: Alphonse Visconti, Maquette de décor pour « Masques et Bergamasques » (détail), 1919 Crayon graphite, encre de chine et gouache sur papier 28 x 55 x 40 cm. Archives Monte-Carlo S.B.M. en dépôt permanent au NMNM, n° D.2010.3.86

Create a website or blog at