See Incredible Pictures of Olafur Eliasson’s Exhibition at Versailles
The artist has dreamt up a place that "empowers" everyone.
If we’re to believe Catherine Pégard, president of the public Establishment of the palace, museum and national estate of Versailles, Olafur Eliasson’s current massive project at Versailles, which opened on June 6, almost didn’t happen.
Eliasson “strode around the grounds of Versailles, finding inspiration here,” Pégard wrote on the artist’s website, “only to abandon the idea, imagining a work there, later deciding the spot was not entirely suitable.”
“He returned several times before deciding on the places that would hold his attention in the long term,” she said. “He even wanted to wander alone at night through the cháteau.” She describes the work: “Metaphors of water, diffraction of light, confusion of mirrors, intensified emotions, moving shadows. Olafur Eliasson wants the visitors to take possession of Versailles alongside him. And it is an augmented reality that imposes itself, an engine room of the imagination, and one not so fundamentally far away from that which captured the hearts of the 18th century.”
“I am doing a series of subtle spatial interventions inside the palace deploying mirrors and light,” Eliasson wrote about the project on his site. “In the gardens, I use fog and water to amplify the feelings of impermanence and and transformation.”
“The Versailles that I have been dreaming up is a place that empowers everyone,” said Eliasson. “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.”
“Olafur Eliasson Versailles” is on view from June 7 – October 30.
Follow artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.