Exhibition: “Le jardin mécanique” with Latifa Echakhch at Villa Sauber


The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco is honouring the artist Latifa Echakhch at Villa Sauber until 28 October, 2018.

Alphonse Visconti Set decoration for Masques et Bergamasques (detail), 1919 Graphite pencil, Indian ink and gouache on paper 28 x 55 x 40 cm Monte-Carlo S.B.M. Archives, permanent deposit at the NMNM, no. D.2010.3.86



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 artists’ own impressions and childhood memories.


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. 


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.



Until 28 October, 2018

« Latifa Echakhch : Le jardin mécanique »
Villa Sauber – Nouveau Musée National de Monaco

17 avenue Princesse Grace, Monaco

Tél. +377 98 98 91 26