The Monegasque cultural association AIDA ended its 2017 art season on last Monday and Tuesday, September 4–5, with two dinners whose theme centred on the grape harvest. Held in an intimate and friendly atmosphere, the two evenings were the perfect occasion for members and friends of the Association to gather in an historic setting—the Riviera Palace. A former Grand hotel, it was created between 1898 and 1902 in collaboration with Gustave Eiffel in the Beausoleil Quarter, then “Monte-Carlo Supérieur”. At the time, a cog railway connected the Hotel to the Casino square.
The AIDA Association loves to relive historic events from the Principality and takes great interest in the French Riviera’s early golden years. It comes to no surprise that AIDA was delighted to introduce a new kind of soirée— “The Arthéma Nights”. The Association would like to hold these events regularly to enrich its events calendar and would take place during its summer art festival, whose highlight is the Ball of Baroness Béatrice. The Ball is organized every summer and is held at the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Through the new “Arthéma Nights”, AIDA seeks to create a vibrant, friendly atmosphere where small gatherings of members and friends can chat about a selected artistic theme. Calypso de Sigaldi, whose mandate within the Association is to create the art program, acknowledges there is a certain nostalgia for the salons of old, which were the lifeblood of social lives between the 17th and 20th centuries. The “Arthéma Nights” clearly draw their inspiration from that age and will be especially focused on the contemporary art scene in a setting that no longer exists today.
For the first evening, AIDA wished to show its plans for the 2018 cultural season, by giving its guest a preview of five works from “Il court, il court le Furet” (The Ferret Runs). The latter is the brainchild of Calypso de Sigaldi, who’s channelled her inner art photographer by taking the pictures herself and associating each one to a quote from a great thinker from the 18th century. Each shot is frivolous while being thought out, as the Enlighteners are considered essential to western philosophy.
Throughout the exposition, great names make an appearance such as Diderot, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Beaumarchais (associated with Casanova), Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (author of Dangerous Liaisons), and of course, the light-hearted banter of Marivaux.
For the 2018 art season, the AIDA association will take a look at the artistic styles of “La Fête Galante”, which pays homage to great painters such as Watteau, Boucher and Fragonard. As for the Ball of Baroness Béatrice, it offers its guest the chance to relive the Fêtes Galantes, which were playful outdoor gatherings held by the French nobility between 1715 and 1770.