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Wine and Chocolate Inspire Film and Sculpture


NEW YORK, 23 March 2005—For most, wine and chocolate excite the sensual passions. Recently, however, these delicacies have inspired artisitic efforts in the visual arts: wine, a controversial documentary from filmmaker Johnathan Nossiter; and chocolate, an exhibition of commissioned sculptures at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne.

First screened in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, Nossiter's Mondovino arrives in US theatres today.

Through a series of provocative and intimate interviews the American director reveals the different points of view of winemakers around the world – from those working traditionally with their land to those working on an industrial scale advocating a globalization of wine. 

Whether large or small, the wine industry as documented in the film is centered around families: the billionaire Napa Valley Mondavi clan, rival aristocratic dynasties grappling in Tuscany, and three generations of a Burgundian family persevering on twenty acres of vineyard.

Burgundian vintner Hubert de Montille
 in Mondovino

Nossiter also looks at the impact of Michel Rolland, considered by many to be the most important wine consultant in the world, and of the highly influential wine critic, Robert Parker. Sensibilities run high (notably in France) in this account of progressive globalisation and unashamed political expediency.  Mondovino also takes aim at the entertainment industry and its marketing machines, which Nossiter considers to be a form of fascist totalitarianism.

Jonathan Nossiter is also finishing a 10-part wine miniseries from the 500 hours of material originally shot for Mondovino. ThinkFilm, which acquired the North American rights, plans to release both on DVD.

Meanwhile, the idea of using chocolate as a material in their work has fascinated artists from the twentieth century up to the present day. In Cologne, Germany, the Ludwig Museum's Art in Chocolate project, on view until 19 June 2005, is intended to trace this fascination through the works of twenty contemporary artists.

Each artist has been commissioned to produce a model for a small sculpture, using chocolate as a medium. The results are presented by the Ludwig Museum and Cologne’s Chocolate Museum in a joint exhibition. Among the invited artists are Claes Oldenburg, Ilya Kabakov, Andreas Slominski, Karin Sander, Tom Otterness, and Nicola Torke.

Museum Ludwig
Bischofsgartenstraße 1
D-50667 Cologne
Tel: 49/221/221-26165


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