Article by Sarah Messerschmidt // Apr. 18, 2019
Every year, Ruinart collaborates with one contemporary artist or designer to pay homage to Reims, home of the eminent champagne house since 1729. Lush vineyards, impressive chalk pits (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site) and centuries of history characterise the region, and it comes as no surprise that this is where some of the world’s best wine is produced. This year Ruinart has commissioned the Brazilian artist Vik Muniz to artistically realise his vision of Ruinart’s surroundings, which he does in a series of six photographs and a permanent installation in the house’s cellars, inspired by the triangulation of wine producers, vineyards and the complex nuances of the natural world.
Vik Muniz is a multidisciplinary artist, adopting many different mediums for his works, including photography, sculpture, video and assemblages of various found materials, all of which he uses to stage inquiries into the human relationship with the natural world. In this Shared Roots series, Muniz’s photographs focus on natural elements found in the region, such as blackened wood, charcoal or Chardonnay leaves, making reference to the creative power inherent in both humans and nature. The series features works like Chardonnay Leaf, a giant ampelographic representation of the Chardonnay plant found in Reims, which is composed of leaves, shoots and bunches from the Sillery vineyards. Flow Vine 1 and Flow Vine 2, as well as the Flow Polyptych and Flow Diptych photographs, are each made of blackened wood and charcoal and are constructed to represent the Champagne region’s sinewy vine stocks. Despite the poetry of the images, the works require a long and meticulous process to achieve their effects, combining the mineral and the organic, yet always with visually stunning results. The completed works will make their way to Germany, where they will be exhibited at DNA Galerie during Gallery Weekend in Berlin.
‘Vik Muniz x Ruinart: Shared Roots’
Exhibition: Apr. 25–28, 2019
Opening hours: Thursday, 11am – 8pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am – 10pm; Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Auguststraße 20, 10117 Berlin, click here for map