Grimaldi Forum Monaco
Scenography, the art of guiding visitors
Scenography is no longer just a matter of stage design for the theatre. It has spread into other fields and is applied with increasing creativity in exhibition venues.
Dali, une histoire de la peinture (2019).
Alberto Giacometti, Une rétrospective, Le réel merveilleux (2021).
L’Or des Pharaons (2018).
Francis Bacon, Monaco et la culture française (2016).
Grimaldi Forum hosts concerts, plays, ballets and stage shows, but it attracts most attention for its big summer exhibitions. “One of the assets of the Ravel Hall is that it is a bare space ready to be transformed,” says Catherine Alestchenkoff, head of cultural events. Each exhibition takes up between 2000 and 3000m2. “The artworks bring their singularity, and our task is to create an informative route through the show so that visitors understand the exhibit’s meaning and their interest is held from start to finish,” says scenographer William Chatelain, head of space design and research at the Forum. Since 2015, almost all the displays at the Grimaldi Forum have been designed in-house. “For the Francis Bacon show in 2016, we created a highly theatrical setting, with velvet curtains and oblique lighting. For Gold of the Pharaohs in 2018, gold work was the main theme but the big problem was finding a blue to match the blue of the lapis lazuli”. In 2019 with Salvador Dalí and again in 2021 with Alberto Giacometti, the spotlight was on the artists’ studios. “I was impressed by the powerful presence of those thin, elongated sculptures once they were in place,” says Catherine Alestchenkoff. While a good scenography is one that lets you forget it and see only the exhibits, there is a lot of thought going into the design of the upcoming Monet exhibition. We’ll be seeing the outcome next summer.
By Tanja Stojanov