We are all inhabited by islands. Everyone keeps within their mind memories, plans and dreams about islands. Novels, films, atlases, etc., all confer on them an unparalleled evocative force, even when they are said to be imaginary.
The Mediterranean has more than 10,000 islands. Its history is marked by these places that alternate between centers of activity and being on the margins, nerve centers and places that repel, paradises and prisons. But on other seas lie archipelagos linked to crucial issues: as much as Cyprus and Lampedusa, the Spratly Islands, the Comoros, New Caledonia and the Caymans all contribute to how today’s world is shaped.
More than something that is marginal or exceptional, “Island time” considers the island as an experience and a tool for understanding the world. The exhibition explores the effects of islands on the imaginary, knowledge, geopolitical reality, and the utopias of yesterday and tomorrow.
Whether we are island inhabitants or not, we are all islanders. Maps, explorers’ surveys, stuffed animals, and also Roman mosaics, paintings,
sculptures, photographs, videos, installations – “Island time” presented at the Mucem showcases some 200 pieces from French, European and Mediterranean institutions, as well as contemporary works of art created specially for this project.
As an extension to the exhibition and in order to heighten the island experience, the Mucem and the Centre des monuments nationaux invite the public to take to the sea for the Island of If, just off Marseille’s Vieux-Port, to discover a series of works by the artist David Renaud.