press release

April 30 - October 16, 2022

Ulysses’ Dream

Curator: Francesco Stocchi

Artists: Micol Assaël, John Baldessari, Miquel Barceló, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marinus Boezem, Louise Bourgeois, Mark Bradford, Francesco Clemente, Adger Cowans, Willem de Kooning, Niki de Saint Phalle, Olafur Eliasson, Haris Epaminonda, Leandro Erlich, Urs Fischer, Cyprien Gaillard, Douglas Gordon, Duane Hanson, Keith Haring, Camille Henrot, Jenny Holzer, Thomas Houseago, Rashid Johnson, William Kentridge, Yves Klein, Oliver Laric, Roy Lichtenstein, Tony Matelli, Adam McEwen, Janaina Mello Landini, Bruce Nauman, Marilène Oliver, Jorge Peris, Alessandro Piangiamore, Benoît Pype, Carol Rama, Ann Ray, Man Ray, Martial Raysse, Odilon Redon, Gerhard Richter, James Rosenquist, Miguel Rothschild, Arcangelo Sassolino, Egon Schiele, Cindy Sherman, Günther Uecker, Willem Adriaan van Konijenburg, Adrián Villar Rojas, Andy Warhol

This year at the Fondation Carmignac, audiences will encounter Ulysses’ Dream, an aesthetic and mythological adventure inspired by Homer’s Odyssey.

The Odyssey is a book, a myth, a world. The Villa Carmignac will present an exhibition inspired by the Greek hero who sailed for ten years to return home after the Trojan War (The Iliad). Legend has it that Ulysses reached the shores of Porquerolles Island, where he fought and struck down the Alycastre, the monster sent by Poseidon and sculpted by the artist Miquel Barceló at the entrance of the Villa Carmignac.

On this wild Mediterranean island off the coast of Hyères in the South of France, where the light, sea, trees and caves are the same as in Homer’s time, gods and myths are still very much alive. The Odyssey continues to accompany us and to help us live, like some more contemporary works of art, which sometimes light our way.

Thanks to the intuition of this year’s guest curator, Francesco Stocchi, curator at the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, the Villa Carmignac will be transformed into a labyrinth for this exhibition. Is Ulysses’ decade-long journey of return, with its diversions, impasses and traps, not a labyrinthine journey drawn on the sea?

In a disorientating scenography of meandering corridors and crossings that multiply the possible circuits, the visitor will be constantly faced with choices: take this path or turn their back on it, see one work and not another. They will have to navigate by avoiding the traps and illusions—mirrors, trompe-l’oeil and other tiny spaces—scattered along the way by the scenographer, Margherita Palli.

Following previous Villa Carmignac exhibitions, such as The Source and The Imaginary Sea, which allowed us to enter an underground or underwater world, Ulysses’ Dream invites us to dive beneath the surface once again. The labyrinth, a physical and mental space par excellence, opens up to an introspective journey. For Ulysses, it is a journey of the return to the self, as well as to his island; for the visitors, walking in his footsteps and forging new paths on this island, it is a contemporary and intimate odyssey.

The Fondation Carmignac
Founded in 2000 by Edouard Carmignac, the foundation is structured around three main pillars which developed one after the other. The Carmignac Collection, which has over 300 works of contemporary art, the Carmignac Photojournalism Award and the Villa Carmignac in Porquerolles which offers temporary exhibitions and a rich cultural programme in a 2000-square-meter art space set in a 15-hectare estate at the heart of a protected site.