Danish artist Olafur Eliasson has juxtaposed a series of modern outdoor and indoor sculptures at the Palace of Versailles through October 30.
Eliasson says of the exhibit:
Historically, the royal court at Versailles was a place of constant observation – of oneself and of others; the strict social norms of the time were enforced through a web of gazes. The Baroque architecture of the palace served to heighten visibility, becoming a stunning instrument of power held exclusively by the king. Today, however, we look at Versailles differently, and when I visit the site, I ask myself: how do you, the visitor, view this iconic site? What does it do to you? Have we all become king? The Versailles that I have been dreaming up is a place that empowers everyone. It invites visitors to take control of the authorship of their experience instead of simply consuming and being dazzled by the grandeur. It asks them to exercise their senses, to embrace the unexpected, to drift through the gardens, and to feel the landscape take shape through their movement. For my exhibition this summer, I am doing a series of subtle spatial interventions inside the palace deploying mirrors and light, and in the gardens, I use fog and water to amplify the feelings of impermanence and transformation. The artworks liquefy the formal design of the gardens while reviving one of landscape architect André Le Nôtre’s original, unrealised visions: the placement of a waterfall along the axis of the Grand Canal. This waterfall reinvigorates the engineering ingenuity of the past. It is as constructed as the court was, and I’ve left the construction open for all to see – a seemingly foreign element that expands the scope of human imagination.
Above: "Your Sense of Unity."
• Palace of Versailles website
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