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Arles 2024 : Mucem : Paradis naturistes


Paradis naturistes is the exhibition presented by the Mucem as part of Grand Arles. Pierre-Olivier Costa, President of Mucem, describes it as follows:

It’s an old story, it’s even the original story. In the idea we have of it, paradise, as we have been taught, in everything we have seen or read, is necessarily a natural, green space, a sort of jungle without hostility that the we cross naked. In all the museums of the world, the representations of paradise, Eve and Adam never deviate from this image. They live naked, in a state of nature.

So, covering ourselves has undoubtedly profoundly changed our relationship with nature, with the fate we reserve for our environment. Covering ourselves has also probably changed the relationship we have with others and, obviously, with our own bodies.
Dedicating an exhibition to naturism is a collective idea. It seemed necessary today to return to the sources of a social phenomenon which disrupts aesthetic and normative conventions and injunctions. The time had also come to evoke a relationship with the body and nature that the still recent phases of isolation, distance from cities and return to more authentic practices have largely questioned. At a time when we are once again debating standardized and collective clothing.

If the naturist movement does not have the same scale in the Mediterranean basin as in the rest of Europe, it is because its roots come from the North and the Center. But this practice is not foreign to the southern shores. Scandinavian saunas and oriental hammams bear witness to this proximity.

It is also this lifestyle alternative that we wanted to present. A way of being that questions our views, our judgments, our way to nourish or care for ourselves, the link of the body to sexuality. Obviously, this is a freedom.

Pierre-Olivier Costa


from July 3 to December 9, 2024
1 Esp. J4
13002 Marseille, France


Éditions La Martinière / Éditions Mucem
Publication: June 28, 2024
19.5 x 28.5 cm – 240 pages
ISBN: 979-10-401-1990-6

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