June 2, 2018 - Fondation Carmignac - Sea of Desire
June 2, 2018

Fondation Carmignac

[1] Porquerolles island. Photo: Eric Valli. [2] Maurizio Cattelan, Untitled, 1998. Photo: Mauricio Guillen. Courtesy Maurizio Cattelan’s Archive. [3] Edward Ruscha, Sea of Desire, 2018. Photo: Marc Domage.

Sea of Desire
Opening of the Porquerolles island site, France
June 2–November 4, 2018

Fondation Carmignac Porquerolles Island Site
Porquerolles island

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

A corporate foundation created in 2000 on the initiative of Edouard Carmignac, Fondation Carmignac is focused on two main areas: a contemporary art collection and the Carmignac Photojournalism Award, which supports an investigation report every year.

From, June 2, 2018, Fondation Carmignac will be entering a new phase in its commitment to contemporary art, by welcoming the public to its new permanent space in the middle of a protected national park in Porquerolles, an island floating like a forest on the Mediterranean Sea, to discover temporary exhibitions, a sculpture garden dotted with site-specific commissions and a rolling program of cultural events and activities.

While preserving the characteristics of the traditional Provencal farmhouse and original landscape, the GMAA agency, which adapted and extended architect Marc Barani’s architectural plans, cleared 2,000 square meters of space in the shape of a cross beneath the floor area. In the centre of the building, a large aquatic ceiling lets in natural light and illuminates these underwater spaces.

At the entrance to the villa, visitors are invited to remove their shoes: the visit is made with bare feet. Inside, there are no crowds: visits are limited to 50 people per half-hour, allowing the visitor to be occasionally alone in front of an artwork. On the walls and surroundings, Fondation Carmignac’s inaugural exhibition, Sea of Desire, is intended as an immersion into the world of the collection. Designed by curator Dieter Buchhart, the exhibition has been imagined as a journey guided by desire, through encounters with iconic artists who shake up the established order and renew shapes and languages: Sandro Botticelli, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat… and present-day artists: Bruce Nauman, Maurizio Cattelan, Cindy Sherman and Alighiero Boetti.

Outside, a garden, designed by landscaper Louis Benech is conceived and arranged as a tribute to the local biodiversity, highlighting the island’s pioneering and endemic species: Cistuses, lavender trees, Needle-leaved Broom and Serapias.

From Porquerolles’ legendary dragon, Alycastre, created by Miquel Barceló—located at the Villa’s entrance—to the figurative and sometimes incisive sculptures of Jaume Plensa, Ugo Rondinone, Olaf Breuning and Wang Keping, via the more immersive installations such as those of Nils Udo or Jeppe Hein, the outdoor artworks play with the surrounding nature while singularly questioning our relationship to the world. Finally, it is in the forest that one looks at the sky and where Ed Ruscha’s monumental work, Sea of Desire reveals itself, concluding this dual physical and mental journey.

Plan your visit

Fondation Carmignac
Share - Sea of Desire
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York