8 Flags

25.11.2021 - 07.07.2022 / Villa Paloma
Pierre Bismuth
Abstractions sur le thème des nations, 2021
8 impressions sur drapeaux
Photo : NMNM/Andrea Rossetti, 2021

In 2011, on the occasion of the exhibition Oceanomania: Souvernirs of Mysterious Seas — a Project by Mark Dion, David Brooks suggested installing eight flags on the roofs of Villa Paloma.

Ten years later, the NMNM is reviving the project with invitations to artists for new proposals in a bi-annual programme called 8 Flags.

In dialogue with the exhibition Tremblings recent acquisitions by the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the eight masts at the Villa Paloma host Abstractions sur le thème des nations by Pierre Bismuth from 25 November 2021 to 15 May 2022.

Pierre Bismuth’s practice is part of the tradition of conceptual art and appropriationism and is based on a very wide range of mediums, appearing increasingly as a reflection on the absorption of culture by the leisure industry.

His work on flags, whose principle is to create new national emblems by merging the flags of two different countries, was initiated in 2019 with a series entitled Abstractions and whose combinations were determined by data on migration flows to Europe.

The work has since evolved with Variations sur le thème des nations and Abstractions sur le thème des nations, always based on political, economic, or social data, present or past, as in this new series created especially for the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco and inspired by statistics on international trade.

The resulting compositions become pictorial objects in their own right, summoning both a history of twentieth-century art as well as a sense of strangeness and obviousness. If some flags are sometimes recognizable, the associations are voluntarily never literally stated and form a combination that reveals a new tremblement of the Tout-Monde.

In February 2021, and for his exhibition The 165-metre Mermaid and Other Stories, Shimabuku, true to his inclination to reconnect the distant and rethink the notion of alterity, imagined and ensemble of flags called Moon and Potato, a comparison as formal as it is humorous that he defines as follows: “When I look at the moon, I think of a potato. When I look at a potato, I think of the moon.”

Curator: Benjamin Laugier