“It must be said first of all that the tremor is not uncertainty, that it is not fear, that it is not what paralyzes us. The thought of trembling – and in my opinion all utopia goes through this thought – it is first of all the instinctive feeling that we must refuse all categories of fixed thoughts and all categories of imperial thoughts. The thought which organizes itself into a system and which tries to put order, its order, in the world, is a thought against which we can raise this thought of the trembling which is the knowledge or the attempt at real knowledge of what currently happening in the world. In the Tout-monde, everything trembles. The Tout-monde trembles physically, geologically, mentally, spiritually, because the Tout-monde is looking for this utopian point in which all the cultures of the world, all the imaginations of the world can meet and get along without dispersing or getting lost. » Edward Glissant*
The exhibition Tremors presents a selection of contemporary works acquired over the past ten years by the New National Museum of Monaco. of installation Extraterrestrial from the South African artist Candice Breitz, which entered the collections in 2010, to the film The White Album by the American Arthur Jafa, acquired in 2021, the exhibition brings together seventeen artists, of twelve different nationalities, offering as many visions of our globalized and fractured societies. All of them have in common that they respond to the definition of trembling thought which, in the words of the poet Édouard Glissant “units us in absolute diversity, in a whirlwind of encounters”.
As seismographs of the contemporary world, artists Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA), Sylvie Blockher, Arthur Jaffa, Helene Johnson and Clement Cogitore invite to decenter the gaze and decolonize the thought; Candice Breitz, Latifa Echakhch and Petrit Halilaj question the identity foundations of popular cultures; the transdisciplinary practices of Brice Dellsperger, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz or Nan Goldin spring from the visibility of queer cultures; finally Steve McQueen, Apostolos Georgiou, Hans Schabus, Katinka Bock and Laura Prouvost focuses on the processes of representation and disappearance of bodies.
In the 1960s, the poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant, author of Le Tout Monde and The poetics of relationship, had formed a museum project that was to see the light of day on his native island of Martinique. This museum was not created there, but it gave rise to several exhibitions and Hans Ulrich Obrist, one of his traveling companions, made it possible to make known its contours through numerous interviews. Resisting the imperialist model, Glissant had developed an experimental and transdisciplinary project, “a museum that seeks”, as opposed to museums that have found. The inventor of the concept of globality, this form of global exchange preserving diversity through creolization, defined his museum as “the place where places in the world are brought into contact with other places in the world” thus aiming at a great diversity of representations and a multiplicity of voices, favoring the individual sensitivity of the artists over the great universal narratives. Through his writings and several exhibitions, Glissant has helped redefine the role of the museum in the 21st century.
Claiming the heritage of Édouard Glissant’s thought, the exhibition Tremors. Recent acquisitions of the New National Museum of Monaco, highlights the acquisitions made under the direction of Marie-Claude Beaud, between 2009 and 2021.
After directing institutions as diverse as the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, the American Center, the Central Union of Decorative Arts in Paris and the Mudam in Luxembourg, Marie-Claude Beaud developed her vision of the contemporary museum in Monaco. , inspired by the poetry of Édouard Glissant and his Tout-monde aesthetic. The NMNM collections have thus been enriched in a transdisciplinary and inclusive way, in constant dialogue with contemporary artists. While ensuring the study and preservation of works of art linked to Monaco of yesteryear and modernity, the NMNM is committed to thinking about a heritage including the most contemporary art. Focused on themes defined taking into account the history of Monaco and its territory, its acquisition policy has made it possible to support and represent within the national collections a great diversity of views and voices.
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