Following in the footsteps of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Anish Kapoor is Olafur Eliasson, the new summer guest artist for at the Palace of Versailles. The man who made the hugely popular The weather project in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2003 and The New York City Waterfalls in 2008 has created three water works for the gardens (as well as the spectacular, seemingly suspended waterfall, there’s a drought-afflicted water feature and a field of fog) and light works inside the palace that play on the golden glory and luminescence of Louis XIV. As ever with the summer art residencies at Versailles, there’s the mutual benefit of mixing the beautiful backdrop of the 1682 building with provocative, contemporary art.
All of Eliasson’s works here are an attempt to democratise the regal surroundings of the Sun King’s palace. “The Versailles that I have been dreaming up is a place that empowers everyone,” he explains. “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.”
7 June – 30 October 2016 chateauversailles.fr