Sunday, October 19, 2014


For better or for worse, these past few years a movement to display contemporary art inside and on the grounds of the Château de Versailles has firmly taken hold. Does it bring added value to the visitor's experience? Or do the works, which often interfere with the perspectives originally created by André Lenôtre and so dear to the Sun King, make them feel cheated? Whenever one of these temporary conceptual installations springs up, we can't help but think of the perplexed people who pay to visit the royal palace expecting to see the château and its park the way it was, not a perfunctory, denaturing of the historic grounds. Proponents proffer that were Louis XIV here today, he would be the first to welcome the works in a spirit of avant-gardism. Debatable as that may be, the above trompe d'oeil du sol does have some interest. The vertical metal plaque, reminiscent of the beginning scenes of the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, is buried in the gravel of the parterre du Midi. But seen from afar along with a second and horizontal plaque which serves as its shadow, an illusion that it's floating over the esplanade is created. The current enigmatic  implantations are the work of the Korean sculptor, Lee Ufan. 

©2014 P.B. Lecron

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