Fondation Carmignac chose the Porquerolles island (located off Hyères in the middle of the Mediterranean forest) to open their very own Villa. This weekend’s inauguration allowed guests to discover the charm of a Provencal farmhouse which construction hasn’t changed since Edouard Carmignac acquired the Domaine de la Courtade back in 2013. After a 10-minute walk, Edouard and Charles Carmignac’s guests took on a physical and spiritual journey that led them to discover the estate through a complete experience you can only do barefoot. Once the shoes were off, the guests (Fiac director Jennifer Flay, curator Jérôme Neutres, Fondation Louis Vuitton’s artistic director Suzanne Pagé, and Ségolène Royal, godmother of the ninth Carmignac Prize for photojournalism, to name but a few), visited the inaugural exhibition, “Sea of Desire” by the artist Ed Ruscha. The exhibition brings together 70 of the 300 works from the collection. Among the artists exhibited, Sandro Botticelli, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Martial Raysse, Yves Klein, and Maurizio Cattelan, as well as lesser known artists from the emerging scene. What surprises (and dazzles) the most is the expansion of the venue with a 2000-square-meter basement illuminated by natural light and equipped with a large water ceiling. Under there, you can’t help but feeling like you’ve found Atlantis. Two permanent works take part in this emotional discovery: Bruce Naumann’s One Hundred Fish Fountain, and a gigantic painting by Miquel Barceló. The visit continued outside, where art blends with nature with more than fifteen works designed exclusively for the Foundation by artists like Nils-Udo, Ugo Rondinone, Jaume Plensa, Jean Denant, Olaf Breuning, or Jeppe Hein. Finally, after a closing speech by Edouard and Charles Carmignac, everybody sat under the olive trees for dinner. Then, singer Camille entered the stage in the forest for her special concert followed by a Pablo Saavedra DJ set. The party took all the guests in a frantic dance until the end of the night…

Photos: Jean Picon

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