International exposure for State Collection

 Theatre of the World

Theatre of the World, the landmark collaboration between the Museum of Old and New Art and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), will travel to Paris in October.

The Premier, Lara Giddings, announced the exhibition, curated by the renowned Jean-Hubert Martin, will be shown at leading French private gallery La Maison Rouge.

Theatre of the World is the largest collaboration between a public and private museum in Australia,” Ms Giddings said.

“The exhibition, which showcases a diverse array of items from TMAG’s State Collection, has been delighting visitors to MONA since June 2012, and it is fantastic news that it will continue to intrigue audiences internationally.

“Hobart has already been selected as one of the top 10 destinations in the world by travel websites Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor, and this is a further chance for the state to shine on a global stage.

“Along with Tourism Tasmania’s new campaign urging visitors to get ‘behind the scenery’ and explore our state, I am sure that it will only boost recognition of the Tasmanian brand, in France and beyond.

“Today’s announcement is a credit to everyone at MONA and TMAG and I look forward to more collaboration between these leading Tasmanian cultural institutions in the future.”

La Maison Rouge is the initiative of Antoine de Galbert, a private art collector and a well-known figure in the French art scene, who set up the gallery in 2005 to encourage independent curators to show experimental and diverse exhibitions.

The gallery space of 1000 square metres will house 80 per cent of Theatre of the World, including many of TMAG’s majestic tapa cloths, as well as work by Australian artists never seen in Europe before.

“MONA and Theatre of the World brought the rarefied aesthetic of Jean-Hubert Martin to Hobart and seasoned it with the world that was already in residence,” MONA founder David Walsh said.

“Now his magnetism attracts our co-creation to Paris, his compelling repulsion first drove his conception far from his, and its, roots but now returns it with a reversal of polarity contrasted by a conceptual single-mindedness.”

Nicole Durling, MONA’s senior curator, said taking Theatre of the World to Paris was a first for MONA, TMAG and La Maison Rouge.

“While Maison Rouge is one of Europe’s leading private galleries and has shown some of the world’s best private collections, it is the first time it has shown a major Australian exhibition,” Ms Durling said.

“From 18 October 2013 to 19 January 2014, French citizens and international travellers will be seeing unique works from Australia, the South Pacific and the rest of the world, as seen through a compatriot’s eyes – with an Australian curatorial twist.”

TMAG Director Bill Bleathman said he was proud to be working with MONA to take the treasures of the State Collection to an international audience.

“We are so pleased with the success of the Theatre of the World collaboration, and having a curator of Jean-Hubert Martin’s standing curate and interpret his personal selection of TMAG’s objects from an international perspective has been outstanding,” Mr Bleathman said.

“The exhibition going to Paris really is the icing on the cake for us at TMAG, following on from our spectacular reopening earlier this month.

“I look forward to showcasing not only our State Collection objects in Paris, but also the cultural experiences our state has to offer.

“And I would like to urge all Tasmanians who have not had a chance to visit Theatre of the World to get in quickly over the Easter break, before it closes at MONA on 8 April.”

Theatre of the World is on show at MONA until 8 April 2013. It opens at La Maison Rouge in Paris on 18 October 2013 and will be on show until 19 January 2014.