Olafur Eliasson at the Palace of Versailles

Olafur Eliasson at the Palace of VersaillesImage courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson at the Palace of Versailles

For the last eight years, the Palace of Versailles has hosted a series of exhibitions that see internationally-acclaimed artists form a dialogue between their own work and the architecture of the French landmark. This summer, Olafur Eliasson brings a sequence of spatial interventions to Versailles with waterfalls, fog, mirrors, and light landscapes installed around the gardens and château interior. “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” Eliasson says.

 

Olafur Eliasson at the Palace of VersaillesImage courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson

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By asking visitors “to exercise their senses, to embrace the unexpected, to drift through the gardens, and to feel the landscape take shape through their movement”, this exhibition is organized in two parts: a series of outdoor works situated around the picturesque grounds, and pieces placed within the ornately-decorated palace. In the gardens, three monumental installations deal with various states of water – fluid, fog, and absence, as materialized by glacial rock flour. Eliasson continues one of the most significant projects of his oeuvre with a new “waterfall” erected in the grand canal.

 

Olafur Eliasson at the Palace of VersaillesImage courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson

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Positioned on the central axis of the garden, this latest iteration sees a surge of water rush down from a soaring crane above the landscape. The installation subtly pays homage to Louis XIV’s landscape architect Andre Le Notre and his unrealized vision of creating a waterfall in the palace’s gardens. Expanding upon the theme of water, Eliasson’s “fog assembly” surrounds visitors in a hazy landscape, enveloping them within a circular veil of fine mist. At the colonnade, a carpet of glacial residue has been placed within a circular opening on the floor, surrounded by the site’s magnificent thirty-two arches with twenty-eight fountains.

 

Olafur Eliasson: Palace of Versailles
June 7 – October 30, 2016

 

more. olafureliasson.net

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