27-29 May 2011
Launch: Thursday 26 May 2011, 7pm
Alli Sharma Annabel Dover Cathy Lomax
For Influx Transition are presenting The Lions Den, the fourth chapter in an ongoing series of exhibitions inspired by Alexandre Dumas's classic adventure story; The Count of Monte Cristo.
In the cavernous environs of the In_flux space, outside of time and place, negotiating the juxtapositions of site specifics and fictive imperatives, The Lions Den, delineates its performative arena with a golden thread. This demarcation is part Ariadne-an escape route, part treasure map and part prison.
Within the Monte Cristo ‘Eruv’, the artists’, use a range of disciplines and media, to plot their own responses to the settings and overarching themes of betrayal, disguise, revenge, imprisonment and patience, mapping out a narrative of imagined objects, characters, conversations and relics. By turns, they engage in spying; concoct imaginary aristocrats, stately homes and collections; compare the various cinematic and TV interpretations of Dumas's book; indulge in futile escape fantasies; and respond to the ornate, romantic locations and themes of the novel. This treasure-laden exhibition examines the playful spaces between reality and illusion, charting journeys from the sublime to the ridiculous.
A special Count of Monte Cristo edition of Transition’s art fanzine Arty accompanies the exhibition. It includes recently discovered and previously unpublished chapters from Dumas's original manuscript, unearthed in the library archive of Wilmore House and translated by artist and writer Paul Becker.
Cathy Lomax Hayley Lock
The Count of Monte Cristo: The Lions Den is the fourth in an ongoing series of exhibitions. The other chapters have been:
- The Count of Monte Cristo: The Arrival,
Tresco, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, March 2011
Alex Michon Mimei Thompson
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Set in the first half of the 19th Century, The Count of Monte Cristo follows the adventures of Edmund Dantes, a young sailor with a bright future - on the verge of being made captain of his ship and marrying the beautiful Mercedes. Falsely accused of plotting against the King by jealous rivals, he is sentenced to life imprisonment in the notorious dungeon island, Chateau d'If. While imprisoned in solitary confinement, an elderly prisoner tunnels into his cell while trying to escape. He tells Edmund of a fantastic treasure, of which he alone knows the location, hidden away in a cave on the tiny island of Monte Cristo. After many years in prison, and following the old man's death, Edmund escapes and discovers the treasure. In various guises, he sets about using his new-found wealth to exact revenge on those who have wronged him and to reward those who have helped.
The novel's themes are of betrayal, patience and disguise; revenge, forgiveness and redemption and its sprawling plot is filled with twists and turns, lengthy deviations, historical and political references and characters with multiple identities. It has spawned a multitude of film and television adaptations, each focusing on particular elements of the narrative while editing out others.