Fondation Villa Datris - Espace Monte-Cristo, Paris

Jean-François FOURTOU

Les Mondes imaginaires

Throughout its exhibitions, the Villa Datris Foundation has curated an eclectic Collection from sets of sculptures that subtly reflect the themes addressed throughout its thirteen years of existence. Presented annually at the Monte-Cristo Space, these works, chosen to amaze and surprise the public, reveal affinities with various forms of artistic expression.

After highlighting in 2022 the playful and historical aspect of its Collection with the exhibition "Cinetic!", this year, the Monte-Cristo Space immerses you in a dimension that is both narrative and poetic.

Through a selection of over 50 sculptures by French and international artists such as Jaume Plensa, Andrea Bowers, and Chiharu Shiota, the exhibition "Imaginary Worlds" is an invitation to exploration, through a dreamlike journey conceived as a story in multiple chapters.

Populated with strange animals, the mysterious forest of Eva Jospin, Françoise Pétrovitch, and David Nash extends at the edge of an unfathomable city composed of houses and architectures by Tadashi Kawamata and Agnès Varda, bordering a beach where, in the shade of colorful palm trees by Laurent Perbos, Julia Maria Lopez Mesa's makeshift hut thrives. Whether intimate or political, these works create an unusual landscape that gently and delicately evokes the hopes and fears of our evolving world.

As you climb the stairs to the upper floor, you will be guided by Olafur Eliasson's solar installation that extends this journey into the unknown. Bearing witness to the history of the Collection, the ensemble of sculptures by Art Orienté Objet, Alice Anderson, and Laure Prouvost evokes a cabinet of curiosities of an explorer who has visited past exhibitions, as distant lands. Elias Crespin's fluorescent and shifting installation seems, in turn, to form a landscape towards another dimension.

In his immersive installation "The Family of Hybridus," Jean-François Fourtou, the exhibition's carte blanche artist, presents around twenty characters that are half-human, half-plant, poetically illustrating scenes of life inspired by the Belle Époque and projecting an idyllic image of humanity in symbiosis with nature.

Alternating between tenderness and mischief, the exhibition "Imaginary Worlds" explores the different universes of the artists who make up the Collection and invites you to rediscover your childlike gaze to better question our era through our tales, games and dreams, in the hope of imagining a possible future, to be realized together.


Curatorship and scenography: Pauline Ruiz and Jules Fourtine