by Tia

The third season of MITICO, Belmond’s annual artistic series with Galleria Continua, focuses on a single artist for the first time; internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, Daniel Buren. The global series launched in February at Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town, and will be followed by further commissions at Belmond’s legendary properties: Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro; Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence; Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany; Hotel Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice; and La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca.

Entitled “Haltes Colorées”, meaning ‘colourful halt’, each of these six site-specific works offers its audience a moment to pause for a fresh new perspective on its surrounding location and unique corresponding landscape. For this year’s MITICO series, Belmond’s storied properties continue to act as the stage for contemporary creativity, investing in the heritage of the future and the past, simultaneously.

Daniel Buren shares insight on this year’s series: “What brings together the six “Haltes” of the 2024 MITICO season (Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Tuscany, Venice and Mallorca) is the beauty of each location’s environment. Celebrating nature and architecture, these six highly varied in situ works offer a new perspective on Belmond’s properties, fitting into a different space each time.”

The journey begins at the foot of Cape Town’s Table Mountain at the iconic Mount Nelson, where Buren entices visitors to take a moment to contemplate his work – Colourful Halt for Mount Nelson, work in situ, 2023. At the heart of the hotel, the new work surrounds the garden fountain – a true historical landmark feature, present since before the hotel’s inception. As the hotel celebrates 125 years, its role as the joyful home of Cape Town is reinforced with this bold commission, which kicks off its annual cultural programming, closely followed by an unprecedented exhibition at the Mount Nelson, in collaboration with the Norval Foundation.

Known for creating architectural interpretations of environments through colour and stripes, Buren uses the fountain’s circular shape as his base, installing 3-metre-pillars around which alternate between mirrors and stripes. This succession of patterns playfully interacts with the surrounding nature, resulting in an explosion of light and movement when visitors wander through it. In the distance, Table Mountain extends over the hotel’s silhouette, resting on Buren’s fountain pillars and further integrating his work into the majestic natural landscape overlooking the hotel.

The artwork will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 16 February 2024 until 15 February 2025.

The second stop on MITICO’s global journey is Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, where Buren has taken inspiration from the city’s vibrant energy to create his most monumental work of the series – Escala colorida para Copacabana Palace, trabalho in situ, 2023. Coloured vinyl records adorn Copa’s famous façade, transforming the building from the inside out. As the day progresses, hotel visitors and guests will notice the work’s ever-evolving nature, as light and shade intermingle, creating a play of shadow and colourways. This continuous night-to-day illumination immerses viewers in this spectacular work of art. Furthermore, the majestic work perfectly highlights the hotel’s central location, nestled between green hills and one of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast. It offers an entirely new perspective on the hotel’s ongoing role as a cultural catalyst, for over 100 years. Deepened by a new partnership with Art Rio, Brazil’s most important annual artistic fair, who will host a series of talks across the year at Copa.

The artwork will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 15 March 2024 until 30 September 2024.

Set on an expansive estate with 1,300 hectares of rolling hills in the heart of Tuscany, Buren’s response to Castello di Casole has been to create three “portals” – a circle, a square, and a triangle – through which to view this natural beauty. Covered in geometric black and white stripes, the “portals” entitled Sosta colorata per Castello di Casole, lavoro in situ, 2023 will be placed in the gardens, where they will create new focal points within this sprawling panoramic vista. By integrating natural abundance into the artworks, Buren brings the Tuscan hills into the Castello’s gardens, while maintaining their independent beauty and accentuating the intrinsic connection between this property and its surrounding land. These isolated natural captures echo the Japanese tradition of Shakkei gardens, integrating near and distant landscape features through openings of various shapes, giving the garden an impression of infinity. Originally a medieval castle of an ancient Etruscan site, the hotel pays homage to the surrounding astonishing natural life and maintains agricultural traditions, as such this sense of infinite spaces and time align perfectly with the property’s history.

The artwork will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 5 April until 17 November 2024.

Daniel Buren makes his next stop at Villa San Michele – a 15th century former monastery perched in the Fiesole Hills overlooking Florence. Inspired by this Renaissance masterpiece, with a façade attributed to the school of Michelangelo, Buren has selected a novel location for his work, Sosta colorata per Villa San Michele, lavoro in situ, 2024. The hotel bar’s glass roof, formerly a small cloister, becomes Buren’s canvas, turning an area at the epicentre of the hotel into a destination. Here travellers are invited to settle in and experience the architecture in a new light, as coloured reflections sweep the space with the transit of the sun. This work joins Leandro Erlich’s Window & Ladder and The Cloud which remain as a permanent staple of the hotel from MITICO’s first series in 2022.

The artwork will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 3 April 2024 until 30 September 2024.

The next leg of this creative expedition is Hotel Cipriani in Venice, where Daniel Buren’s artwork is exclusively curated by Galleria Continua and Hervé Mikaeloff. Here again, Daniel Buren focuses on the hotel’s fountain – a historic architectural relic also dating back to before the construction of the hotel itself. Whilst at Mount Nelson, the fountain inspired Buren to create pillars mirroring the landscape, at Hotel Cipriani, he constructs a new immersive circular structure of coloured windows and doors. The white stripes on this work, entitled Sosta colorata per Hotel Cipriani, lavoro in situ, 2023, seamlessly tie it into the rest of the global project. Buren’s ambition is to invite the traveller to escape the busy bustle of the city centre, entering Hotel Cipriani’s serene oasis to uncover an entirely new artistic space. Here the artist creates a new location to explore within this storied hotel, known for its landmark hideaways – from the Casanova Gardens to the swimming pool of Olympic proportions.

The artwork will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 11 April 2024 until 30 September 2024.

Finally, at La Residencia in Mallorca, Buren offers his own interpretation of a space which is no stranger to artistic interventions. Nestled in the creative enclave of Deià, host to regular artist residencies organised alongside Galleria Continua, and home to 33 original works by Joan Miró, the hotel is brimming with cultural creativity. Buren’s intervention adds a new layer to this long-standing legacy, taking over the terrace with a colourful and immersive installation. The work, Descanso colorido para La Residencia, trabajo in situ, 2024 – creates a new visual experience for guests, creating a translucent pergola that follows the contours of the terrace, projecting a rainbow onto its surroundings that evolves with the course of the sun. Under this canopy, Buren invites guests to rest and contemplate the Mediterranean landscape with fresh eyes, in the heart of the UNESCO protected Sierra de Tramuntana.

The artwork will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 30 April 2024 until 10 November 2024.

Daniel Buren’s “Haltes Colorées” is a bold symbiosis of art, architecture and nature. Each MITICO work falls in perfect harmony with its corresponding location, awakening the senses of travellers and creating a site-specific experience that transcends borders. Through these works, Buren encourages viewers to find a new perspective on the beauty of Belmond’s
architecture and expansive natural surroundings.

Photos-Souvenirs: Daniel Buren, Colourful Halt for Mount Nelson, work in situ, 2023. Details. © DB-ADAGP

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