Artist Olafur Eliasson Installs a Giant Waterfall at Palace of Versailles
For the past several years, the Palace of Versailles has showcased international artists through exhibitions that interact with its opulent grounds, from the manicured gardens to the regal palace itself. From June 7 to Oct. 30, an exhibition by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, known for his large-scale sculptures, will be on display throughout the grounds.
Inside the palace, Eliasson has installed a series mirrors and lights designed to amplify perspective. “The artist glories in the fluidity of the baroque surroundings, which allow him to construct another reality. Displacements and destabilization modify our perception of the rooms, inviting visitors to become active participants in the reality that surrounds them,” said the exhibition’s curator Alfred Pacquement.
The outdoor portion of the exhibition is comprised of three installations playing off the theme of water, an element omnipresent in the gardens. A waterfall rises out of the Grand Canal, flanked by two installations in the groves to the left and right. One sculpture surrounds visitors in a ring of fine mist, creating a hazy landscape. Located at the Colonnade, the other sculpture is a glacial rock-flour garden framed by the structure’s 32 arches and 28 fountains.
“The artworks liquefy the formal design of the gardens while reviving one of landscape architect André Le Nôtre’s original, unrealized visions: the placement of a waterfall along the axis of the Grand Canal,” said Eliasson, of his inspiration. “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.” Learn more information on this exhibition here.
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