• 1. Liza lou the damned, 2004 © Liza Lou photo Charles Duprat 2. Jason et la toison d'or, cratère en calice à figures rouges © RMN Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre) Hervé Lewandowski
    1. Liza lou the damned, 2004 © Liza Lou photo Charles Duprat 2. Jason et la toison d'or, cratère en calice à figures rouges © RMN Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre) Hervé Lewandowski

Gold


J4 niveau 2 (1 200 m²) | From Tuesday 24 April 2018 to Monday 10 September 2018

Gold is an object of desire and conquest, and a traditional symbol of power and wealth, but its plasticity also makes it the material of metamorphosis, a quality that has made it a favourite material in the arts.
Combining history with contemporary art, this exhibition assembles masterpieces that bear witness to Euro-Mediterranean civilizations’ fascination with the material over more than three millennia.
It includes archaeological objects (ingots, funeral masks, jewellery, etc.), objects from the Mucem’s collections (gold craftwork, reliquaries, ritual objects, etc.), films and documents, as well as modern and contemporary works of art by Ossip Zadkine, Victor Brauner, Yves Klein, James Lee Byars, Louise Bourgeois, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Johan Creten, Liza Lou, and the list goes on...
Nuggets and jewels, statues and relics, and religious and ceremonial objects cover the various subjects addressed by the exhibition: our fascination with gold and its hoarding, the frantic quest for the precious metal and its negative impact on humankind and the environment, the technical aspects of its transformation (from the most concrete actions to the alchemical illusion), its symbolic dimensions linked to divinity and power, and its festive, ritual and demonstrative aspects.
The exhibition is more than just another accumulation of treasures revealing nothing more than the element’s lost sheen: it is a dialogue between archaeology, history and contemporary art that allows visitors to understand gold as the stuff of dreams, a political construct and a source of creative brilliance.


General curators: Jean-Roch Bouiller, Conservator of Contemporary Art at the Mucem—Philippe Jockey, Professor of Greek History and Civilization at Aix-Marseille University—Myriame Morel-Deledalle, Conservator-in-Chief of Heritage and Manager of the History Section at the Mucem—Marcel Tavé, contemporary art advisor