press release

The Inner Island
Villa Carmignac, Porquerolles’ island, France
April 29–November 5, 2023

In the beginning are landscapes and bodies, landscapes in bodies then, as dreams often like to produce, a tangle of situations that are blurry, pleasant, and sometimes disturbing. Faced with work acting as mirages, the gaze wanders.

As a “mise en abyme” of the insular location of the Fondation Carmignac in Porquerolles, The Inner Island exhibition, curated by Jean-Marie Gallais, explores an essential driver of creation, as powerful as it is common: the distancing of reality as to reveal an interiority. While contemporary art has never been as political or engaged with the world as it is now, a whole section of creation, and particularly in painting, is seemingly breaking away from it in order to offer vertiginous immersions into inner worlds and recesses. What is the significance of this current distancing from reality?

From April 29 to November 5, 2023, more than 80 works by 50 artists, from private and public collections, including the Carmignac Collection as well as new commissions, will draw the dotted outlines of an inner island, inviting each visitor to fill in the gaps in their own way. From Peter Doig to Anna-Eva Bergman, from Ali Cherri to Auguste Rodin, the exhibition proposes to confront visitors with these different worlds floating outside of known geographies and temporalities. The exhibition will feature archipelagos, as with Agnieszka Kurant’s installation sculpted by termites, under the water ceiling of the Villa Carmignac. Strange presences, human, animal, hybrid or supernatural, will populate the place, thanks to paintings by Andrew Cranston and Verne Dawson, as well as the sculptures by Francis Uprichard and Corentin Grossmann in the gardens. We will have to surrender ourselves : vertigo and tipping points await us in the either solar or crepuscular universes of Harold Ancart, Marcella Barceló, Tursic & Mille and Christine Safa.

Although the exhibition gives rise to a fictional, mental and abstract island, we are frequently reminded of the real Mediterranean island thanks to works which were created on Porquerolles more than a century ago (Jean-Francis Auburtin, Henri-Edmond Cross), a few years ago (Bernard Pesce, Bernard Plossu) or a few weeks before the opening (Darren Almond and Jennifer Douzenel). The island’s energy, its suspended temporality and its fragility, produce these dialogues with works whose poetry is contagious, inviting us to change scales and ask ourselves about the creative gesture and its current scope.

Curator: Jean-Marie Gallais

Artists: Caroline Achaintre, Etel Adnan, Darren Almond, Harold Ancart, Giulia Andreani, Lucas Arruda, Jean-Francis Auburtin, Marcella Barceló, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anna-Eva Bergman, Ragna Bley, Tim Breuer, Alexander Calder, Ali Cherri, Francesco Clemente, Marcus Cope, Andrew Cranston, Henri-Edmond Cross, Verne Dawson, Jérémy Demester, Peter Doig, Jennifer Douzenel, Antoine Espinasseau, Helen Frankenthaler, Rodney Graham, Corentin Grossmann, Simon Hantaï, Camille Henrot, David Horvitz, Cathy Josefowitz, Pia Krajewski, Agnieszka Kurant, Roy Lichtenstein, Luz Moreno & Anaïs Silvestro, Jill Mulleady, Otobong Nkanga, Albert Oehlen, Bernard Pesce, Bernard Plossu, Sigmar Polke, Auguste Rodin, Christine Safa, Edgar Sarin, Norbert Schwontkowski, Kiki Smith, Léon Spilliaert, Tursic & Mille, Francis Upritchard, Frank Walter, Christopher Wool.
And permanent installations by: Miquel Barceló, Mark Bradford, Tony Matelli, Janaina Mello Landini, Bruce Nauman, Michel Redolfi, Adrián Villar Rojas.

The catalog, published by Editions Dilecta, will include texts by Jean-Marie Gallais and Yann Chateigné, and a short story by Ryoko Sekiguchi, written on Porquerolles Island.