59 Sorties, Nouveau Museé National de Monaco, 2016
59 Sorties, January 2016, were three performance workshops using 59 costumes from NMNM‘s collection, part of LAB- Behind the scenes of Monaco’s Art Museum. The workshops were organised and developed in collaboration with Gaëtan Morlotti, dancer-choreographer from the Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Performers and participants came from Cap Fleuri-A Quietüdine, François d’Assises-Nicolas Barré Primary School and AMAPEI (Association Monégasque pour l’Aide et la Protection des Enfants Inadaptés).
59 Sorties refers to 59 costumes, from the storage archive of the NMNM, that have a yellow ‘S’ (sortie) label. The ‘S’ label identifies their poor condition and/or unknown origin, placing them in an indeterminate status of the study collection.
After my first visit to the costume storage my questions were: what do you do with a collection of damaged costumes that you have better examples of? What is the value of looking after materials that will continue to age, that will fade and disintegrate? Is it ok to let people handle the costumes, dance in them, enjoy them? The 59 Sorties are the most damaged costumes in the collection, the silk on them falls apart in your fingers and they have many holes, frail seams and evidence of previous repair. Instinctively I handled them with a certain care. I was drawn to the most damaged costumes and the yellow ‘S’ labels.
The proposal of the 59 Sorties was that the costumes got out from the archive and got to be worn, encountered, touched and handled by people who were not connected to the museum. The costumes were originally worn for performance, it felt sad to me not only that they were damaged but that they were un-worn and un-performing.
With thanks to all the participants, Anne-Sophie Loussouarn, Emilie Tolsau, Coline Matarazzo, Catéline, Romy Tirel, staff at NMNM for all their support and enthusiasm and special thanks to Célia Bernasconi.
All photographs by Michele Panzeri
AMAPEI at Rainier III Auditorium
François d’Assises-Nicolas Barré Primary School
Cap Fleuri-A Quietüdine