If you've ever visited the Palace of Versailles in Ile-de-France (France), you will certainly know that its sprawling gardens and Chateau are everything of the highest order. Every year, the royal court at Versailles offer an exhibition dedicated to a French or foreign artist and this summer Olafur Eliasson is the guest artist. Internationally acclaimed, the Danish artist and his work investigates 'perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self.' Best known for wonderfully striking installations that have featured in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, London, and along the shorelines of Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, Eliasson's latest career achievement is the presentation of 6 artworks in the French Palace and 3 in its gardens of Versailles, running from June 7th to October 30th, 2016.
With the contemporary art exhibitions always a contrast to the Baroque architecture of the Palace, a place that once represented the true amount of power of the French King, is everyone now empowered enough and equally to appreciate the culture of the contemporary art? As Eliasson explains, "...the site invites visitors to take control of the authorship of their experience instead of simply consuming and being dazzled by the grandeur...", and continues to say, and "...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."
At Eliasson's summer exhibition there are on showcase a series of subtle spatial interventions of mirrors and light within the Palace building, whilst fog and water related artworks can be found in the gardens, all echoing the theme of 'transformation'. While the building and its gardens are formal, rigid and of high design, the interventions are fluid, dynamic and reinvigorating. By the sheer scale of the gardens, peoples perceptions of time and scale are manipulated, but by the fluid water interventions people are given a reference point by way of knowing how long it takes water to fall; an interesting contrast.
Anish Kapoor was the commissioned artist last year for the exhibition and its no surprise that such an acclaimed artist as Eliasson has been chosen to follow-up in Kapoor's footsteps. Discover opening times and event details at ChateauVersailles.fr.
Photography credit : OlafurEliasson.net