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Vik Muniz’s “Shared Roots” for Maison Ruinart

This time last year, Vik Muniz was working alongside Ruinart’s Cellar Master Frédéric Panaïotis at the champagne house’s Sillery vineyard. It was harvest time, and the Brazilian artist was participating in a residency, part of the maison’s annual art commission.

Muniz learned from Panaïotis about the unique terroir and climate of the Montagne de Reims. The region’s harsh climate, he discovered, actually makes for the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines and fruits.

Courtesy of Ruinart.

Inspired by this survival reflex, the artist created a series of six photographs, capturing the challenging conditions that ultimately result in Ruinart champagne. Muniz also created an installation within the maison’s chalk cellars, created using 2800 glass bottles and an LED system.

“My relationship with images is not really linked with the history of art, but rather with memory. I always work with images from the collective memory, archetypes. A picture that someone has already seen is perceived on a deeper level. That’s why I use lots of images from the history of art, pop art, the history of photography, and so on. Things we think we’ve seen millions of times.”

Courtesy of Ruinart.

Muniz’s series for Ruinart was on view last week at Frieze London, entitled “Shared Roots.” To learn more about the art commission, visit here.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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