Le Salon Géologique

Nouveau Musée National de Monaco presents its renewed Salon de Lecture at Villa Sauber.

Le Salon de Lecture is a reading room and mediation space based at NMNM’s Villa Sauber renewed for each exhibition by an invited artist or designer. After Adrien Rovero, Antoinette Poisson, Stéphane Magnin, Nathalie Du Pasquier and Andrea Blum, artist Yto Barrada in collaboration with designer Stéphanie Marin was invited to transform this space into a geological salon, inspired by Morocco’s lithological and geological maps.

 “Lithology is the study on the formation of rocks and examination of their physical characteristics, as visible at outcrop (the exposed cross sections of rocks) or made visible using core samples or a microscope. Lithology charts colour, texture, grain size, and composition. To translate this data in diagrams, geologists have created a mapping convention, in which colours and patterns represent geological time periods and the composition of the rocks. During my research into fossil craft and forgery in Morocco, I personally discovered this visual vocabulary on beautiful handmade documents in a dusty museum archive. Through this ongoing study of rocks and their story, my interest in teaching geology met with my enthusiasm for visual literacy tools. The result was the creation of objects and toys— a group of photograms, embroideries, and a playground made of soft blocks.” – Yto Barrada

The Salon Géologique is a nomadic trunk on wheels, containing a set of forms of various densities, blocks, bricks, cubes, or graphic and coloured velvet triangles.
Once deployed in the space, the whole set takes on the shape of a small autonomous world, composed of elements with similar scale to that of the environing furniture, coming together as a metaphorical and dynamic landscape.

For this exhibition at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber, the Salon Géologique includes two other works by Yto Barrada:

– A guide to trees for Governors and Gardeners (2014) presents the cortege of an official delegation driving through a small Moroccan town, filmed at the scale of an automated model titled Gran Royal Turismo recently acquired by the NMNM.

Green Palm (2016), a sculpture interrogating the usage and distortion of the image of the palm tree, icon of the Moroccan landscape and of the country’s tourist industry.

About the artists:

Yto Barrada was born in 1971 in Paris and grew up in Tanger. She studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography in New York. Her work includes photography, film, sculpture, prints and installations. Yto Barrada currently lives between Morocco and the United States. She is the founding director of Cinémathèque de Tanger.

Yto Barrada is represented by Pace Gallery (London / New York), Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Beirut / Hamburg), and Galerie Polaris (Paris). Her work was recently exhibited at Barbican Center (London), The Power Plant (Toronto), M Museum (Leuven), Secession Vienna (Vienna), Carré d’art musée d’art contemporain (Nîmes), Fundação Serralves (Porto), and MACBA (Barcelone).

Born in 1973 in Marseille, Stéphanie Marin lives and works in Nice. Receptive to the immaterial dimension of design and the emotions it brings out, Marin works on the relationship between to the body, space and light.

Her work is found in numerous collections including: MAK Museum (Vienna), la Cité Radieuse Le Corbusier (Marseille), Malmö Museer (Sweden), l’Aubette 1928 (Strasbourg), les Abattoirs (Toulouse), Imiloa Astronomy Center Museum (Hawaii), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Lenbachhaus Museum (Munich), Reattu Museum (Arles), Museo delle Scienze (Trento), MAMAC and Villa Arson (Nice). It was also part of the French Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennial.

Le Salon Géologique 

Yto Berrada in collaboration with Stéphanie Martin
20 April – 28 October 2018

Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber
Visit NMNM website for more information


Featured image: Yto Barrada in collaboration with Stéphanie Marin,  Salon Géologique I, 2016-18 ; exhibition view. NMNM – Villa Sauber – Photo NMNM/Andrea Rossetti, 2018.




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