The Hyper-Realistic Exhibition You'll Love... or Hate!

Exposition Ron Mueck

A collection of giant skulls stored in a glass room surrounded by lush vegetation—no doubt, we're at the Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art. The intellectual's favorite institution, known for pushing boundaries, is currently hosting an exhibition by the enigmatic Ron Mueck, the world-renowned Australian artist specializing in hyper-realistic and occasionally unsettling works.


A Prominent Figure at the Foundation

This skeletal mound could trap even the most seasoned visitor; situated in the 14th arrondissement, one might easily mistake it for the Catacombs of Paris just a few streets away. However, this extraordinary phenomenon unfolds in a sublime building designed by architect Jean Nouvel. The only plausible explanation lies in the return of Ron Mueck, a regular at the Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art, who now presents his third collaboration with the institution.

As a true protégé of the foundation, the artist maintains a close relationship with the institution. His new monumental work, "Mass," comprised of one hundred giant skulls, is showcased here for the first time, specifically designed to commence its journey in this place that curiously resembles Ron Mueck's workshop on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom. It is truly fascinating.

The surprises continue as we encounter, adjacent to this intriguing artwork, hyper-realistic sculptures of humans with improbable proportions. A giant baby, "A Girl" (2006), occupies the entire space of the second room on the first floor, while enormous black dogs gaze at us from the basement, alongside a minuscule child seemingly nailed to the wall (Baby, 2000), and a 1.20-meter-tall man sitting in a large boat (Man in a Boat, 2006). These unreal proportions on remarkably lifelike bodies captivate and provoke questions about the nature of our own flesh.


An Immersive Exhibition

Everything in the exhibition encourages visitors to explore and immerse themselves fully in the artworks. Simple labels provide the names, but few texts cover the museum walls, allowing complete freedom to discover Ron Mueck's installations. This experience is more about emotion than concept, focusing on the feelings evoked by the sculptures rather than providing explicit explanations.

The juxtaposition of the skull mound we wander through and the lush vegetation surrounding the museum, visible through the glass, creates a fascinating contrast. This installation showcases the artist's evolution towards more experimental works and directly confronts the somewhat disquieting aspects of humanity and its place in space.

To recover from these emotional encounters, take a stroll through the foundation's garden, where you can admire the charming " La Cabane du Chat " a permanent artwork by Agnès Varda. If you're a fan of the venue, make sure to attend the "Nomadic Evenings," performances and shows organized on select evenings in June, July, and September at the foundation (information available here). In any case, we absolutely loved this exhibition with its memento mori ambiance that will revive the philosopher within you (or your emo years #oldschool!)

Ron Mueck at Fondation Cartier from June the 8th to November the 5th. Tickets here.

Discover also what we thought about  Tim Burtons’ “The Labyrinth” and we tested the Paradox museum dedicated to illusion.

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