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Villa Sauber retrospective on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s work

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Photo of Pier Paolo Pasolini on the set of Teorema, 1968 taken by Angelo Novi - ©Cineteca di Bologna / Fondo Angelo Novi

You can see the exhibition at the New National Museum of Monaco until 29 September 2024.

Pasolini’s scandalous life and scandalous work continue to make an impression. “Pasolini en claire-obscure” (Pasolini in chiaroscuro) is the title of the new exhibition at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM). In keeping with its tradition of showcasing Mediterranean figures, the NMNM is presenting an exhibition on Pier Paolo Pasolini, in two acts. First, a presentation of his works, his life and his inspirations. The second part presents work by some thirty contemporary artists in homage to the writer and filmmaker.

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Regina Demina, artist, Guillaume de Sardes, curator of the exhibition, Björn Dahlström, director of the NMNM and Charles de Meaux, artist, at the presentation of the exhibition – © Monaco Tribune

Pasolini, a filmmaker inspired by art

Although he defined himself first and foremost as a writer, it was Pasolini’s films that were the main unifying force. With The Gospel according to Matthew, La Ricotta, Teorema and Salò, the first part presents and deciphers the artist’s inspirations and career.

“Creations rarely come out of nowhere, there’s always an idea, an inspiration, and this is particularly true of Pasolini,”  says Guillaume de Sardes, the exhibition’s curator. The dark ground-floor tour illustrates Pasolini’s artistic inspirations, particularly paintings, with parallels drawn between scenes from the cineast’s films and the works that inspired him.

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Comparison of a scene from La Ricotta and a painting by Pontormo entitled The Deposition from the Cross, painted between 1526 and 1528 – © Communication Department / Frédéric Nebinger

A look back at his life from his birth in Bologna provides a real insight into an artist who was both scandalous and critical, but also very respectful towards his inspirations. For example, “although he was a Marxist, he respected the Gospel with a film about the life of Christ according to St. Matthew’s Gospel,”  says Guillaume de Sardes. You will also see how his relationship with painting evolved, “with the itinerary of a filmmaker who hones his craft and ends up mastering it,” as he describes it.

Artists inspired by the artist

Inspiration, the central theme of the exhibition, also features on the second floor. Here the dark walls are replaced by a clean white, and are home to works in the visual arts by around thirty artists, who pay tribute to Pier Paolo Pasolini. Portraits, poems and film extracts inspired the testimony.

At the end of the tour, you can see a film that was made for the exhibition. Charles de Meaux describes Pasolini’s relationship with painting and the links between literature and film. “The shots in this film are taken in the streets of Rome. I chose settings like Pasolini’s, where he might have shot his films,” says the author.

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Contemporary works from the exhibition – © Monaco Tribune

The artists show their vision of Pasolini through objects, portraits or films. They portray the struggle and the will of a man who was criticised by his contemporaries. For example, Jean-Luc Verna made a perfecto featuring a virgin, a centaur, a target and the AS Roma crest, all in reference to the artist. Head over to the New National Museum of Monaco to find out what lies behind these symbols.


Practical information:

  • When:  7/7 from 10 am to 6 pm, and from 11 am to 7 pm in July and August
  • Where: New National Museum of Monaco, 17 Avenue Princesse Grace, 98000 Monaco
  • Prices: 6 euros. Free for under 26s, job seekers, people with disabilities and members of ICOM and CIMAM, also free every Sunday
  • Contact : +377 98 98 91 26