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Spend some time with Marlene Dietrich at the Villa Sauber in Monaco this summer, courtesy of Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli.
This off-the-wall project by Vezzoli, entitled ‘Villa Marlène‘, is dedicated to the great Marlene Dietrich, and the exhibit involves the redecoration of all the rooms in the historic residence as if the German legend had lived there. Even though she never did. As we are told upon entering “Everything that you will see in this exhibition is just pure fiction”.
Over the two floors of the villa, commemorative relics are just about everywhere, from paintings and posters to films and sculptures. The walls are adorned with portraits of the actress that could have been produced by the great artists of her time (Francis Bacon, René Magritte, Tamara de Lempicka, Amedeo Modigliani…) but were actually painted in Russia by professional copyists. While some of the works on display have been created specifically for the project, others are on loan from major private collections.
If the journey through the different works proves to be fascinating, the key to the show can be found in the movie “Marlene Redux: A True Hollywood Story!”, which is projected in the last room. In this episode from the E! television series, we witness a young Vezzoli and his pursuit of Lady Marlene, through the use of fake interviews and excerpts from ficticious films.
The Italian creator has always been fascinated by Dietrich, not so much by the private person, but rather by the glamorous character she successfully created. He was inspired to create his project after watching another film, the Maximilian Schell documentary ‘Marlene’, in which you can only hear Dietrich’s voice but not see her, as she is replaced by another female artist, Anni Albers.
Always navigating between reality and fiction, Francesco Vezzoli lives and works in Milan. He studied at Central St. Martin’s School of Art in London from 1992 and 1995, and his creations have been the subject of many solo exhibitions held in institutions such as the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London and le Jeu de Paume in Paris.
‘Villa Marlene’ runs until the 11th of September at Villa Sauber. Tickets costs €6 and the exhibit is open daily from 11am to 7pm.
New National Museum of Monaco
17, avenue Princesse Grace
Tel: +377 98 98 91 26
All images courtesy Villa Sauber