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Explore the past, present and future in 'The Infinite Woman': Alona Pardo's new exhibition

Alona Pardo, Curator of 'The Infinite Woman' at Villa Carmignac
Alona Pardo, Curator of 'The Infinite Woman' at Villa Carmignac Copyright jcutproductions/euronews
Copyright jcutproductions/euronews
By Tokunbo Salako
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'The Infinite Woman' is an exhibition on the French Mediterranean island of Porquerolles that could change your life, or at least make you think differently about yours. That's what curator Alona Pardo hopes will happen, and she just might be right.

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The grounds of the Fondation Carmignac are a unique mix of art and nature.

Situated on the southern French island of Porquerolles, it’s home to some amazing sculptures celebrating the feminine form. Now, within the walls of its Villa, women are the centrepiece of its latest exhibition.

Curated by Alona Pardo, ‘The Infinite Woman’ combines works from the Carmignac collection with the work of more than 60 pioneering artists.

From the past to the present and the future, visions of myths and magic are mixed with complex or surreal depictions of sorcery and sexuality. But that's not all by any means. Each room inside the exhibition invites visitors to reflect on their views of the world, and of course, that of the artists.

A Dream of Wholeness in Parts (still), 2021, Single-channel video, 4K, colour, sound, 23 minutes 3 seconds.
A Dream of Wholeness in Parts (still), 2021, Single-channel video, 4K, colour, sound, 23 minutes 3 seconds.Produced by Chi-Wen Productions, Taipei. S © Sin Wai Kin.

Disruptive and sometimes disturbing, the exhibition also challenges centuries-old narratives about gender, feminism and beauty.

"It’s a lens on a woman's world, and a woman's world is forever moving and changing. It's always in flux. And we are writing our history as we speak. And these artists are helping us write that history. And they're writing a history that is about power, that is about resilience, that's about a cosmological, creative moment, a female-gendered feminine power. So it's about emancipation," says Pardo.

Pleasure principles

Walking through the exhibition is to embark on an emotionally packed journey which successfully delivers powerful intellectual punches, along with some truly breathtaking moments of beauty.

"It's also about the pleasure principle in women enjoying their own bodies, their own pleasures, which is something for many decades we've repressed and it’s something to be celebrated and enjoyed," adds Pardo.

Artwork by France-Lise McGurn, 2024
Artwork by France-Lise McGurn, 2024Photo : JUDDartINDEX Commissioned by Fondation Carmignac for the exhibition The Infinite Woman

Pardo was invited to curate the exhibition by the director of the Fondation Carmignac Charles Carmignac, after he was impressed by a work she did a few years ago at the Barbican in London titled Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography.

The feeling it left him with was one he hopes will also resonate with visitors to this show.

"I hope that people leave the exhibition with the idea [that] what constitutes a man, or a woman, is very, very open and very flexible," he tells Euronews Culture. "This show will no doubt disturb people who are somewhat conservative or traditional. There are erotic works, women with male genitalia, for example, and they might be shocked or offended by that and there could also be feminists who say 'you don't go far enough!' That's what an exhibition is all about, to raise questions and make people think, reflect and react."

'The Infinite Woman' runs at the Villa Carmignac along with a host of complimentary events until 3 November 2024.

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