13 May 2022

Indian Ocean Expedition: two artists in residence.

Indian Ocean Expedition: two artists in residence.

On November 15, 2021, Monaco Explorations launched a call for artist residencies in the context of the next expedition scheduled in the Indian Ocean in October and November 2022. In response to the call, 56 applications from artists from 14 different countries were examined by the Selection Committee convened for this purpose. In February, this committee pre-selected six artists. These six artists were then invited to come and present their project to the Committee on Friday, 6 May, at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.

The Committee chose two young creators at the end of these auditions: Elsa Rigot and Rémi Leroy. They will both embark onboard S.A. Agulhas II, alongside the teams of scientists involved in this great adventure.

Deliberation of the Committee on 6 May 2022 at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. © Michel Dagnino. Oceanographic Institute

The composition of the Selection Committee

The Committee that has participated in the selection process since the launch of the call for residency and led the interviews was composed of the following personalities: Robert CALCAGNO, President of the Committee, Director General of the Oceanographic Institute and Managing Director of Monaco Explorations, Françoise GAMERDINGER, Director of Cultural Affairs, Virginie RAIMBERT, Director of the Heritage Institute, Björn DAHLSTRÖM, Director of the New National Museum of Monaco, Thierry LEVIEZ, Director of the Graduate School of Visual Arts of Monaco, Olivier WENDEN, Vice-President of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, François SIMARD, Secretary of the Advisory Committee of the Indian Ocean Expedition, Bernard REILHAC, Director of Development of the Oceanographic Institute and Gilles BESSERO, Director of Monaco Explorations.


Elise Rigot: Telling the Stories of the Saya de Malha Bank

Elise Rigot is a design artist and researcher based in Toulouse, France. Her work questions the links between natural sciences, engineering sciences, and art, as well as the perception we have of the variety of living beings, and how we could make ourselves more sensitive to them. She uses 3D technologies (3D printing, scanning, VR, X-rays, etc.) for their political and aesthetic power, as well as sound and podcasts. Putting oneself in the place of the living beings around us and adopting their point of view is one of her approaches.

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On 6 May, Elise Rigot described her artistic project to the Committee © Michel Dagnino. Oceanographic Institute

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Rémi Leroy shared with the Committee the artistic rendition of his commitment to the environment © Michel Dagnino. Oceanographic Institute.

Rémi Leroy: heading towards an Art-Science dialogue

Is it possible to go beyond words to tell the story of scientific research, too often confined to a hermetic and complex language? How can interdisciplinarity and fieldwork enrich the view of scientists and the public? These reflections constitute the raw material of the projects that Rémi Leroy defends. He tries to unite his different experiences (artist, engineer specialized in renewable energy, teacher) through them. His goal: to contribute to the ecological revolution by creating illustrated stories capable of getting a vast public to conceive other ways of interacting with the environment.

Four other great projects presented on 6 May 2022.

Apart from the two winning candidates, Elise Rigot and Rémi Leroy, four other participating artists were interviewed: Federico Campanale, Elsa Guillaume, Debby Mason, and Toby Wright. All of high quality, the projects were presented with passion and conviction.

Debby Mason lives in Plymouth, England. She specializes in engravings and illustrations of marine life. Her work renders her love of the sea and the amazing life it contains. It is imperative that she shows this beauty and its reality © Michel Dagnino. Oceanographic Institute.

Elsa Guillaume, a visual artist, based in Paris, is also a diver. From drawing to sculpture, through installation and video, she develops plastic research dedicated to the representations of the maritime universe © Michel Dagnino. Oceanographic Institute.

Federico Campanale, the Amsterdam-based photographer and filmmaker, is an artist who explores concepts related to social interactions and natural phenomena. His videos and photo series deal with emotion, temporal dynamics, and memory processes © Michel Dagnino. Oceanographic Institute.

Toby Wright is a painter who lives in Monaco and travels the world with his easel and paintings, searching for exceptional natural sites. He is inspired by the great artists of the past, who pushed the limits of comfort in their quest for beauty. Some in the name of science, others in the name of art, all in the name of humanity © Michel Dagnino. Oceanographic Institute.
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18 June 2021

Young people from Unesco clubs mobilised for the Ocean!

Pupils from Monaco and La Rochelle discuss the Ocean and its future.

On 8 June, on the occasion of World Oceans Day, the theme of which was “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”, a dozen young people from the Unesco club at Charles III Secondary School in Monaco exchanged views on the Ocean and its future by video-conference with a fifth grade class from “La Genette” School in La Rochelle, which is associated with Unesco. As a basis for discussion, both groups had visited the exhibition “Protecting UNESCO’s Marine Heritage through Scientific Research” organised by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre with the support of the Government of the Principality of Monaco and the assistance of Explorations de Monaco. After its presentation on the gates of the St Martin Gardens, the exhibition is now on public display on the New World Quay in La Rochelle from 8 June until 31 July 2021.

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The virtual mode of the meeting between the pupils from Monaco and La Rochelle did not prevent a fruitful dialogue.

Remote presentations

Remote presentations

In the presence of Mr Didier Théron, in charge of outreach activities for Monaco Explorations, this virtual meeting began with a presentation of the two coastal cities of La Rochelle and Monaco. The group of students from the Principality was led by Ms Milène Escarras, President of the Monegasque Federation of Clubs and Associations for Unesco, Ms Marjorie Gaggino, head of the Club and of the Socio-educational Centre of Charles III Secondary School, Ms Sylvie Leporati, Monegasque language teacher and Ms Catherine Hubrig, history-geography teacher. In La Rochelle, the young Unesco ambassadors were supervised by Mr Alfred Tudeau, President of La Rochelle Unesco Club, and by their teacher, Mr Richard Auteffe.

On both sides of the screen: exchange and conviction

After these presentations, it was time for dialogue and interaction! Around a quiz prepared by Monaco Explorations, the young audience was challenged on both sides of the screen to interact and exchange. The key question was: why is the protection, study and sustainable management of the Ocean more essential than ever to the future of humanity?

Each participant, in their own way, was invited to provide answers and propose solutions.


Getting to know the Ocean better

The young people from La Rochelle introduced the Monegasque pupils to the Atlantic Ocean through the various scientific workshops in which they took part at sea to gain a better knowledge and understanding of marine life: sampling and recognition of plankton, marine knots workshop, sampling of sea water and measurement of temperature, salinity or PH, all activities enabling them to acquire knowledge and share it in order to love, know and better protect the Ocean.

Vigilance in relation to our consumer behaviour

On the Monegasque side, the students, inspired by the example of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and his great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I, wanted to draw attention to the problems of overfishing and, more generally, the overexploitation of the ocean, by choosing to read extracts from speeches made by the two Monegasque Sovereigns 100 years apart.

Think global, act local

To conclude these exchanges on a positive note, the debate focused on the capacity of this young generation to set up sustainable personal and joint actions aimed at changing behaviour in the long term. These young actors and future decision-makers took the helm of the future with enthusiasm, keeping to the mottos of the Unesco Club of La Rochelle and the Monaco Federation of Clubs and Associations for Unesco: “Think global, act local” and “Acting together is stronger”.